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Park Trapping Nuisance Bears

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Visitors to Grand Teton National Park may notice a number of culvert traps making appearances in various locations – most notably in the Phelps Lake area.  That’s because at least one bear has become a problem trying to access food from back country campers.  Park Spokesperson Jackie Skaggs says it is not unusual for bears to begin seeking food from alternate sources during a drought year, but still, it cannot be permitted.  She says the park was forced to close the back-country camping area there as the bear has moved on – but she adds the bear has been one that had exhibited no fear of humans, has become food conditioned and needs to be broken of its conditioning to those food rewards.  Consequently, she says, it needs to be relocated. Skaggs says the nuisance bears trapped within the park are relocated elsewhere in the park rather than to a site in the national forest.  She adds that park officials urge park visitors to always stay clear of any trapping operation for safety’s sake.  She says they will be well marked and people need to stay well away from those areas. At the same time, Skaggs says it is particularly imperative for campers and picnickers to be conscientious about secure food storage and being sure bears do not have access to human foods.

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