By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department captured and relocated an adult male grizzly last week at the direction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
On Thursday, the bear was captured after killing livestock on private lands near the South Fork of the Shoshone River, southwest of Cody. The bear was relocated to the Wiggins Fork Creek drainage, approximately 14 miles north of Dubois.
Bears considered a threat to human safety aren’t relocated. Relocation is a management tool used by large carnivore biologists to minimize conflicts between humans and grizzlies and is critical to the management of the population.
When other options are exhausted or unattainable, Game and Fish will attempt to capture a bear. Once its captured, all circumstances are taken into account when determining if the bear should be relocated or removed from the population.
If relocation is warranted, the selection of a site is determined by taking the bear’s age, sex and type of conflict it was involved in into consideration. Potential human activity in the relocation site’s vicinity is also considered.
The Dubois site was chosen due to the lack of human presence and the ability to release the bear several miles behind closed gates.
The Game and Fish Department will work to minimize the chance of future conflicts and maximize the survival potential of the bear.
The department continues to stress the importance of the public’s responsibility in bear management and the importance of keeping all attractants (food items, garbage, horse feed, bird seed, and others) unavailable to bears. Reducing attractants available to bears reduces human-bear conflicts.