2 Black Bears Euthanized near Jackson
Feeding on garbage and bird feeders
by Wyoming Game & Fish Department
October 3, 2005
Two adult male black bears were euthanized last week after developing chronic feeding patterns on garbage and bird feeders in the Jackson area, according to an October 3 news release by the Wyoming Game & Fish Department. Both bears were considered in excellent condition and, up until about three weeks ago, had been primarily feeding on natural bear foods in preparation for winter.
However, after an investigation of two property damage incidents last week, Wyoming Game & Fish Department learned of at least 10 prior unreported incidents of these bears receiving food rewards or coming onto decks and front porches at residences in Teton Village and along the Moose-Wilson Rd. These unreported incidents were in addition to countless other unreported sightings of these bears.
"It is extremely frustrating to have to put down these bears knowing that both of these mortalities could have been prevented," said Lean Chartrand, State Bear Wise Community Planner for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. "Had we been notified immediately when these bears were first sighted, we could have provided immediate outreach expertise to help residences and businesses in the area properly store garbage, birdfeeders, and any other attractants," said Chartrand.
"Earlier notice could have allowed us enough time to potentially capture and relocate these bears before they had become human food conditioned, or a potential threat to human safety," added David Hyde, Wildlife Damage Technician with the Wyoming Game & Fish Department. "It is well established that bears that have learned to forage on human foods, or garbage, become destructive and potentially dangerous."
Wyoming Game & Fish is advising all residences and businesses in bear areas, particularly those along Fall Creek Road and Moose-Wilson Rd., as well as within Teton Village and Wilson, to store garbage, birdfeeders, pet food and other unnatural attractants in a manner that is inaccessible to bears. The eastern slopes of the Teton Range and the Snake River corridor provide abundant natural foods and attractive travel routes for bears.
Currently, Game and Fish officials are investigating reports of another black bear visiting residences near the town of Kelly. "While the eastern slope of the Teton Range is home to a lot of black bears, we have many other areas throughout the valley with small communities and a history of bear problems, Kelly being one of those," said Chartrand. "We need to remember bears are feeding almost around the clock these days, trying to put on fat for denning, so it is especially important for people to keep all potential attractants unavailable to bears for the next several weeks."
WGFD also urges residences and businesses to immediately notify the Jackson Regional Office [(307)-733-2321] at any time a bear is sighted near residences or businesses within the area. Early notification helps minimize the potential for human/bear conflicts, minimizes the number of human-caused bear mortalities, and increases human safety.
"While we are responsible for management of these bears in Wyoming," said Chartrand. "The success of our efforts relies heavily upon prompt notification by the public of any bear sightings in or near residential or commercial areas so that conflicts can be avoided."