A 4-year-old grizzly was euthanized after using “bold behavior” to get food, Grand Teton National Park rangers said.
The grizzly broke into bear-resistant dumpsters within the national park to get food, park officials said. The bear was killed Saturday. “This action was taken after the bear received numerous food rewards from unsecured sources, causing it to exhibit increasingly bold behavior,” park rangers said Tuesday in a news release.
“This behavior caused the bear to pose a threat to human safety and therefore it was removed from the population.” The bear ate chicken feed on land outside of the park. It also ate from the garbage. The grizzly had also caused damage to the private property twice within days in September, park rangers said. It also caused damage and ate food at a private property in early October.
The bear had received a “food reward” at least 10 times in the past year from private property or the bear-resistant trash cans within the park. “Food rewards can include human food, trash, livestock feed, compost, pet food, beehives, etc.,” park rangers said. “Over time, food-conditioned bears may become bold or aggressive in their attempts to obtain human food, as was the case with this bear.”
Visitors and residents in the area can both do their part to ensure Grand Teton bears stay safe, park rangers said. Bears are attracted to odors and will look for food when they smell something. Bears’ noses are “100 times more sensitive” than humans, and they can smell food up to five miles away, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said on its website.
They can also seek out the trash that smells like food or scented products, such as air fresheners, wipes or perfume. The Idaho Way newsletter A weekly roundup of opinions, commentary, and your views from around the region.
Conflicts between bears and people can often be traced back to bears trying to find easy food, wildlife officials said. “Help your neighbors create a bear-wise community to protect wildlife,” Grand Teton rangers said. “It may be cliché; however, more often than not, ‘a fed bear is a dead bear.’” R
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