A new study suggests that flaws in how the government measures Yellowstone's grizzly bear population raise questions about whether the animals have recovered sufficiently to merit lifting federal protections.
Lead author Daniel Doak of the University of Colorado says a major reason more bears have been counted in recent years is that more time is now spent counting bears. He says the population could be in decline even as officials consider revoking its threatened species status.
The National Park Service and the Game and Fish Department changed regulations for hunting elk in Grand Teton National Park. Part of the reason for these changes is to avoid contact between hunters and grizzly bears.
Last year a hunter participating in the annual elk reduction program shot and killed a grizzly in the park. In 2011, a grizzly mauled a hunter. Both encounters involved bears protecting animal carcasses.
The U.S. Attorney’s office has decided not to file criminal charges against hunters who killed a grizzly bear in Grand Teton National Park last year.
The hunters were participating in the annual elk reduction program when they shot the bear. But Park Spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs says investigators determined that they acted in self defense after the grizzly charged them. She says the hunters did the right thing after the bear died.
It’s hunting season, and in northwest Wyoming it’s also the time of year when bears – especially grizzlies – are more active as they prepare for the winter. Because of this, the Wyoming Game and Fish office in Cody is urging people to be cautious about bear encounters.
Spokeswoman Tara Teaschner says people should hunt with a partner, and if they get a kill, they need to be especially alert.
A young Grizzly Bear and a mother antelope were killed Thursday in Grand Teton National Park on Highway 89, the park’s main road.
The grizzly was killed when one car swerved to avoid another car and rolled, hitting and killing the bear that was by the side of the road. The driver was treated for minor injuries at Saint John’s Hospital in Jackson. Another car hit an antelope near Gros Ventre Junction, and failed to report the collision. Park spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs says, drivers need to be extra aware when driving in the park.
The Wyoming Department of Game and Fish wants hunters to properly dispose of animal carcasses in landfills and not in the wild.
A Wyoming man was bitten by a weak, old grizzly bear while hunting near Cody last week.
Denny Hammer of the local Game and Fish office says the bear was unable to hunt and had dragged discarded carcasses to a dense area of willows where it made a day bed. The hunter surprised it when he passed, and the bear bit his leg. The man remained hospitalized for two days. Hammer says Game and Fish trapped and euthanized the bear.