By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A grizzly was bear captured and euthanized in Wapiti earlier this week after repeatedly breaking into a chicken coop.
This was the third time the bear has been captured by the Cody regional Game and Fish office. Dusty Lasseter, community coordinator for the Game and Fish Department’s “Bear Wise” program, explained that the first two times, it had been caught in a trap meant for another bear.
Lasseter said that the bear was in poor physical condition when captured on Tuesday, with officials noting that he had lost around 85 pounds and had a large wound on his back, possibly from another bear.
“We take in a lot of different factors when we decide to euthanize a bear,” Lasseter explained. “Obviously, we’re not going to tolerate a bear breaking into a building. But if a bear climbs into an apple tree, that’s a different story.”
After the bear was euthanized, its body was donated to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Lasseter noted that its beautiful winter coat and large size were among the reasons the bear was a great specimen for the museum.
Adult male bears have already come out of hibernation, but female bears and cubs are leaving hibernation around early May. Lasseter recommended for anyone living in bear country in Wyoming to secure their “attractants.”
“You have to be really diligent about deterring bears from your house,” he said. “If you’re out hiking, you need to be prepared with bear spray and possibly a firearm. Don’t go alone. We’re predators, too, so a large group of people will be intimidating for a bear.”
Another grizzly in the area was far luckier last week despite attacking a man.
This bear surprised a antler hunter and while mauling the individual accidentally bit-down on his holstered can of bear spray.
The attack stopped, the man was able to get back to his ATV where he was airlifted to a Billings hospital, and the Game and Fish department announced there would likely not be any repercussions for the animal.
“Due to the circumstances involved a surprise encounter and the inability to identify the individual bear, Game and Fish does not plan to take management action at this time, and no area closures have been implemented,” the department said.