CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Game and Fish Department said Tuesday that it relocated a sub-adult male grizzly on Sunday and an adult male grizzly on Monday after livestock depredations occurred on private and public land.
The bear captured on Sunday was relocated to the Bailey Creek drainage about 11 miles from Yellowstone National Park’s South Entrance. The bear captured on Monday was relocated to the Five Mile Drainage about five miles from Yellowstone’s East Entrance.
The relocations were conducted after Game and Fish consulted with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and were done in accordance with state and federal regulations, according to Game and Fish. The department said in its Tuesday release that regulations require it to notify media when relocations occur.
Grizzly bears are relocated in order to minimize conflicts between humans and bears. Game and Fish said relocation is a critical tool as the grizzly population expands in the state.
“Capture is necessary when other deterrent or preventative options are exhausted or unattainable,” Game and Fish said. “Once the animal is captured, all circumstances are taken into account when determining if the individual should be relocated. If relocation is warranted, a site is determined by considering the age, sex, and type of conflict the bear was involved in as well as potential human activity nearby.
“Grizzly bears are only relocated into areas already occupied by other grizzly bears. With any relocation, Game and Fish consults with appropriate agencies to minimize the chance of future conflicts and maximize the relocated grizzly bear’s survival.”
If a bear is considered a threat to human safety, it is not relocated, Game and Fish noted. Grizzly bears may be killed if deemed necessary.
“Game and Fish continues to stress the importance of the public’s responsibility in bear management and the importance of keeping all attractants such as food, garbage, horse feed, [and] bird seed unavailable to bears,” the department said. “Reducing attractants available to bears reduces human–bear conflicts, and in some cases, relocations.
“For more information on grizzly bear management and reducing the potential for conflicts, please visit the Bear Wise Wyoming.”