5th Grizzly Relocated to Park County in Summer 2021

5th Grizzly Relocated to Park County in Summer 2021

Written by on July 28, 2021

The Five Mile Creek Drainage is a popular place, as another Pinedale cattle-killing grizzly is relocated to the area five miles from Yellowstone’s East Gate.

Wyoming Game and Fish has relocated yet another grizzly to Park County in Summer 2021.  A sub-adult female was captured near Pinedale and relocated to the Five Mile Creek drainage in Park County – five miles away from the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park.

The grizzly in question was captured for killing cattle on a U.S. Forest Service grazing allotment north of Pinedale. As a result, Park County’s Five Mile Creek Drainage was chosen as the relocation site in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Shoshone National Forest.

This is the fifth grizzly relocation in 2021 and the second bear to be sent to the Five Mile Creek Drainage this summer.

Four other grizzlies have been captured and relocated by Wyoming Game and Fish this year. All of them were relocated to various wilderness areas in Park County.

The Five Mile Creek drainage is specifically chosen as the relocation site for several bears “due to the lack of human presence.”

Over the past few years, several grizzlies captured near Pinedale have been “banished” to the Five Mile Creek drainage, often due to cattle depredation. Pinedale grizzles were relocated to the same spot in 2018 and 2020.

Previous releases from Wyoming Game and Fish highlight the lack of human presence as the main reason why this drainage is chosen. In one instance – a grizzly relocated for eating animal feed – one of the perks of the Five Mile Creek drainage was the ability to release the bear behind a closed gate.

Grizzly bear relocation is one management tool that large carnivore biologists use to minimize conflicts between humans and grizzly bears. It is critical to managing the grizzly population.

When other options are exhausted or unattainable, Game and Fish will attempt to capture bears. All circumstances are considered when determining if a captured individual should be relocated or removed from the population.

Bears that are considered a threat to human safety are not relocated or released back into the wild.

Consultation with the appropriate personnel and agencies occurs to minimize the chance of future conflicts and maximize the survival potential of the relocated grizzly bear. Bears that are deemed an immediate threat to human safety are not released back into the wild.

Bears are relocated following state and federal law and regulation. Game and Fish stresses the importance of the public’s responsibility in bear management and the importance of keeping all food items, garbage, horse feed, birdseed, and others attractants unavailable to bears.

Reducing attractants available to bears reduce human-bear conflicts. For more information on grizzly bear management and reducing the potential for conflicts, please visit the Bear Wise Wyoming webpage.

For further information, please contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator, Hilary Cooley, at (406) 243-4903.

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