Montana Wildlife officials euthanized two grizzly bears after they entered a campground near Yellowstone National Park. The grizzlies reportedly went into an occupied tent as well as a recreational vehicle storage compartment.
Last Friday, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks responded to 15 reports about the bears getting into garbage. Furthermore, the reports claimed that the grizzlies, one male and one female, approached houses and entered campgrounds.
Montana Regional Supervisor Mark Deleray released a statement following the incident.
“When garbage and other attractants are left unsecured and available to bears, human safety becomes a huge concern, and bear mortalities are the unfortunate result,” Deleray said, Great Falls Tribune reports.
Last year, department officials say they removed the bears from residential areas. However, they resurfaced in occupied areas last month.
On Aug. 16, park officials captured the animals. Shortly thereafter, on Aug. 25, both grizzlies returned to the area.
With concerns over human safety, the department elected to euthanize the bears. They came to the decision after consulting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The wildlife experts urge potential visitors to store food properly and take precautions such as hanging bear-resistant containers and belongings 10 feet above the ground.
Yellowstone National Park Bear Safety Guidelines
On the official Yellowstone National Park website the park offers guidelines on how not to attract bears. Firstly, never feed bears. Like in the aforementioned situation, bears become dependent on human food. Secondly, if a bear approaches your car, honk the horn or drive away.
While bear encounters can turn dangerous in a hurry, the Park writes that the “overwhelming majority of bear encounters do not involve conflict.” On average, the park reports an average of one bear attack per year in Yellowstone.
In addition to the recent bear encounters, Yellowstone National Park is currently working to recover from a major oil spill. Learn more here.
[H/T Great Falls Tribune]