Grizzly Bear Targeting Wyoming Livestock Relocated Near Yellowstone National Park

by Amy Myers

Wildlife officials in Wyoming decided to relocate a grizzly bear to an area near Yellowstone National Park after preying on local livestock.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department consulted with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the matter. On May 4, they captured the adult male bear and humanely moved it to a more suitable location. Here, officials believe won’t have access to any more cattle or human interactions.

The grizzly bear now resides 30 miles from the northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park in the Sunlight Creek drainage. In an official release, the WGFD stated that capture is necessary when all other options are “unattainable.”

“Once the animal is captured, all circumstances are taken into account when determining if the individual should be relocated. If relocation is warranted, a site is determined by considering the age, sex, and type of conflict the bear was involved in as well as potential human activity nearby.”

According to state and federal law, the WGFD must notify media when officials have relocated a bear. The department only relocates grizzlies into an area where other bears already reside.

“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.”

Relocation is a critical tool in mediating any possible conflicts between humans and bears. That said, the WGFD stressed that the state does not relocate any bears that are a threat to humans.

“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, bird seed unavailable to bears,” the WGFD stated. “Reducing attractants available to bears reduces human-bear conflicts, and in some cases, relocations.”

Idaho Wildlife Officials Face Similar Situation as Yellowstone With Grizzly Bear

Meanwhile, Wyoming’s neighboring state of Idaho has dealt with a similar situation regarding a grizzly bear. Last month, a farm in Naples caught a grizzly bear on camera attacking a llama and sheep. Shortly after the initial encounter, the farmer lost three more animals, a goat and two more sheep.

Idaho Fish & Wildlife confirmed that it was, indeed, a grizzly bear responsible for the deaths of the Naples farmer’s livestock. However, they have yet to determine whether there is just one or multiple predators picking their meals from the same farm.

As the state department monitors the situation, the incident has also helped remind Idaho residents of crucial bear safety measures. In response to the grizzly bear sightings, Idaho wildlife officials posted a few tips for locals.

For suburban residents, officials urged them to secure outdoor garbage cans and any outdoor pet food. For farmers, Idaho F&G advised them to keep a close eye on their livestock for any future grizzly bear activity.