Grand Teton National Park Officials Issue Plea To Motorists After Several Bison Struck and Killed

by Evan Reier

If you’ve ever traveled through Grand Teton National Park, it can be easy to get distracted by the beautiful views.

After all, the mountains, rolling plains and more are simply splendid. But just as beautiful, if not more so, is the wildlife that roams through the park. Bears, bison, wolves and much more all inhabit the park and add to its grandeur.

Which makes a recent statement from Grand Teton National Park all that more disappointing.

Per USA Today, the park has seen 5 bison killed in the past two weeks due to motorists. After the uptick in deaths, the park had to speak out.

“Seeing wildlife in their natural habitat is one of the many unique opportunities that make Grand Teton National Park a special, awe-inspiring place. Motorists can do their part to protect and preserve these animals by slowing down and using caution while driving.”

USA Today also says that bison aren’t the only animals that have been killed by vehicles in this recent stretch. An elk, pronghorn, wolf pup and a coyote have all perished due to accidents.

“Drivers should use caution and slow down, especially at dawn, dusk, and during the night when visibility is reduced,” the park added.

Typically, somewhere between 75-100 large animals are struck by vehicles per year in Grand Teton National Park.

Grand Teton National Park Facing Issue with Grizzly

One of the unfortunate aspects of human interaction with bears is that the predators love human food. Almost like large raccoons, it doesn’t take much motivation for a bear to get their hands on human food.

Which is a problem for Wyoming. One of the most prominent bears in the area, 399, has been heading south to get her hands on human food.

“We had repeated conflicts over a three- or four-day period, way down south,” biologist Mike Boyce said. “Property damage, livestock feed and apiary damage.”

We can understand wanting to beat hunger like anybody, but bears can’t be allowed to adjust too much to humanity’s presence. It sets a dangerous precedent for both the animal and humans, as a hungry bear that is used to perusing garbage can lead to tragic occurrences.

With 399 getting into 10 conflicts since August, there’s no question that Wyoming and Grand Teton National Park will act.