WY Game and Fish Relocates First Bear of 2022 to Park County
Written by Andrew-Rossi on May 10, 2022
The first grizzly relocation of 2022 occurred after a cattle-killing bear was taken to a new area in Shoshone National Forest near Yellowstone’s Northeast Entrance.
After consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department captured and relocated an adult male grizzly bear on Wednesday, May 4. The bear in question was captured for cattle depredation on private land.
Wyoming Game and Fish did not release the exact location of the depredation. However, the Sublette Examiner reports the male grizzly – which had been collared before the incident – killed a calf in the Hoback Basin near Bondurant.
Wyoming Game and Fish relocated the grizzly in the Sunlight Creek drainage in Shoshone National Forest. The drainage is approximately 30 miles from the northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park.
In 2021, Wyoming Game and Fish captured 45 individual grizzly bears in 49 capture events.
Last year, the vast majority of the grizzlies were captured in and relocated to Park County. Of the 49 capture events, 21 (43%) were in Park County. Furthermore, out of 19 relocation events, 11 (58%) were in Park County.
All bears are relocated per state and federal laws and regulations. Each location is chosen based on the conflict each bear is involved in and
Grizzly bear relocation is a critical management tool large carnivore biologists use to minimize conflicts between humans and grizzly bears.
Capture is necessary when other deterrents or preventative options are exhausted or unattainable. Once the animal is captured, all circumstances are considered when determining if biologists should relocate the individual.
If relocation is warranted, a site is determined by considering the age, sex, and type of conflict the bear was involved in and potential human activity nearby. Grizzly bears are only relocated into areas already occupied by other grizzly bears.
With any relocation, Game and Fish consults with appropriate agencies to minimize the chance of future conflicts and maximize the relocated grizzly bear’s survival.
Bears that are considered a threat to human safety are NOT relocated. In some cases, a bear may be removed from the population if it cannot be relocated successfully.
Game and Fish continues to stress the importance of the public’s responsibility in bear management and the importance of keeping all attractants such as food, garbage, horse feed, and birdseed unavailable to bears. Reducing attractants available to bears reduces human-bear conflicts and, in some cases, relocations.
Please visit the Bear Wise Wyoming web page for more information on grizzly bear management and reducing the potential for conflicts.