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Grizzly bear verified near Viva Naughton Reservoir

Cheyenne – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has verified a grizzly bear north of Viva Naughton Reservoir through remote camera photos. The images were obtained by a member of the public who reported them to the department. It’s the second spring in a row a grizzly bear has been confirmed in the southern Wyoming Range.

“This is black bear country, but with the verified presence of a grizzly, people enjoying the upcoming Memorial Day weekend should be practicing bear safety while outside,” said Todd Graham, Green River Region wildlife supervisor. “Be sure to keep a clean camp, free of food waste and garbage.”

Game and Fish recommends that campers:

Never store attractants in your tent.
Store all food, pet food, garbage and any other odorous items inside a vehicle, hard sided campers, horse trailers, bear canisters, or bear boxes.
Keep clothes worn while cooking stored with food and other attractants.
Burn all grease off camp stoves.
Wipe down eating and cooking areas after each use.
Do not bury garbage; bears will just dig it up.
Dispose of all garbage properly and pack out any remaining trash.

The grizzly bear was unmarked and not known to be involved in any conflicts. Game and Fish will continue to monitor the situation.

“It is important to report any conflicts with large carnivores immediately to local Game and Fish,” Graham said.

The location is approximately 65 miles south of the Demographic Monitoring Area which is the area considered suitable for the long-term viability of grizzly bears by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The second grizzly sighting in the area is further evidence of a recovered — and growing — grizzly bear population.

“These spring sightings are the furthest south grizzly bears have been verified since well before recovery efforts began in the 1970s,” Graham said.

For more information on bear safety and being “Bear Aware” visit the Bear Wise Wyoming website guidance on recreating and living in areas inhabited by black and grizzly bears and other large carnivores.