“Record Number Of Problem Grizzlies Captured In Wyoming”, By AP Author

Thank you. From NRDC in the News.
Matt

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) ― Wildlife officials say they have captured a record number of problem grizzly bears so far this year, many of which were involved in livestock depredations.

The Jackson Hole News and Guide reports that the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has captured bears on 38 occasions as of Aug. 27. Those captures exclude Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks.

Of the captures, four bears were killed because they posed a threat to human safety. The rest were relocated. Mark Bruscino, a supervisor for the Game and Fish Department’s bear management program, says some of the bears were caught two or three times.

“One of the things that’s going on is the natural food resources aren’t great,” Bruscino said.

“In Jackson, the berries are pretty good and the bears are using them, but it is not a good year for berries on the east side (of the Continental Divide),” he said. “It’s a much drier environment over here.”

Most of the bears captured so far this year were moved due to conflicts with livestock. Game and Fish officials say about 100 cattle, sheep, llamas and horses have been killed in Wyoming outside the parks.

Conservation groups say a decline in whitebark pine in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is one of the reasons grizzlies are getting into trouble. Bark beetles have left large areas of dead trees in the Rockies, and bears have been forced to move to lower elevations to store up the fat and protein needed to survive the winter.

“It’s what you would expect,” Louisa Willcox of the Natural Resource Defense Council, NRDC, said. “Bears are looking for the next big-ticket (food) item.”

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