What to do about Grizzly 399


Efforts continue to track Grizzly Bear #399 and her cubs in order to keep them from finding inappropriate food sources in residential areas. The hope is to gradually see them return to Grand Teton National Park. At the same time, US Fish and Wildlife Service Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator Hilary Cooley says less-desirable alternatives are being weighed should the return the park not happen naturally including physical relocation or diversionary feeding to lead bears back to the park.

“We’ve talked about a lot of things, including that. So, there’s pros and cons to everything we choose to do. We just kind of take it day-by-day right now. We have a general plan we’re working from, but things change on a daily basis; and so, as things change, we revisit options and say, ‘Well, is that something we want to consider then?’”

She says the method is a little controversial since it also runs the risk of attracting other bears and could potentially bring them into the vicinity of other people. As far as physically relocating the five bears is concerned, the Park is not that far from where she may be getting rewards now, and if she’s tied to a food source south of the park, she could soon return. Additionally, there are five bears to deal with. Cooley says biologists have looked at different places to possibly relocate them to if necessary, but have not come up with a completely satisfactory solution. In Cooley’s words, “It’s just a complicated situation.”


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