Cheyenne – This weekend Game and Fish personnel were on the move, dealing with several situations involving grizzly bears and humans in northwest Wyoming. Including, at least, four grizzly bears occupying a corn maze near Clark. Near Wapiti, three grizzly bears were frequenting a residential area eating pet food and were filmed seeking to enter the backdoor of an occupied house. There have also been incidents where bear spray was deployed by people dealing with aggressive acting bears as well as a situation where hazing and aversive conditioning techniques were used to resolve a conflict. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department urges people to be safe and take precautions to prevent bear conflicts, even in areas where grizzly bears are not normally found.
Game and Fish is currently assisting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on two law enforcement investigations involving grizzly bears allegedly being aggressive towards hunters. One outside of Dubois and one in the Beartooth Mountains.
“In Park County this weekend our employees have been very active in trying to resolve situations where bears pose a risk to people. We remind everyone that grizzlies are in places people may not expect and that this is the time of year when bears are seeking high calorie food as they prepare to hibernate,” said Brian Nesvik, Chief Game Warden for Game Fish. Nesvik also reminded people to secure human and pet food, garbage and big game meat to ensure bears aren’t inadvertently attracted to places near people.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has a program devoted to reducing conflicts with bears and keeping people safe. It’s called Bear Wise and there are many resources on Game and Fish’s website.
Grizzly bears are now considered threatened under the Endangered Species Act due to a judge’s decision last week. This change means that the final decisions about law enforcement and how to deal with bears that get into conflicts with people are made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.