For public safety, a black bear was euthanized yesterday in Grand Teton National Park. The decision to remove the bear from the population was based on recent activities in which the bear exhibited no fear of humans and was approaching humans looking for food. The bear was highly food conditioned and routinely visiting campsites and picnic tables and approaching vehicles in the Jenny Lake and String Lake areas.
On Wednesday, July 22, the bear walked into an occupied campsite of a family with children and went directly to the picnic table and began eating the campers’ food that was set out. Park staff immediately responded to the scene. The campers were relocated to another site and the area was closed so the bear could be safely captured. The bear was trapped and killed Thursday evening. The female bear weighed about 60 pounds and was estimated to be about 1.5 years old.
Grizzly and black bears thrive in Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller Jr., Memorial Parkway. Visitors may encounter a bear anywhere and at any time. Wildlife are wild and unpredictable. Feeding wildlife in a national park is illegal and presents severe risks to the animal and to humans.
The proper storage of food items and responsible picnicking are vitally important in bear country. Odors attract bears into campgrounds and picnic areas. Picnickers should only have immediate use items out so that if a bear approaches, food items can be quickly gathered and the opportunity for the bear to receive a food reward is removed. Visitors should store food and scented items in bear-resistant food lockers that are located throughout the park or in a hard-sided vehicle. Do not burn waste in fire rings or leave litter in campsites.
For more information about safely recreating in bear country, visit https://www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/bearsafety.htm.