By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Grizzly bear 399 and her four cubs received a police escort out of Jackson this week, town officials announced Wednesday.
The popular grizzly family was escorted out of town on Tuesday night by law enforcement officers and officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and herded toward the North Saddle Butte area.
The bears were last reported in the Spring Gulch area and were headed north.
“We hope that she continues in that direction,” stated Jackson Police Chief Michelle Weber.
The Jackson Police Department shared a video of the grizzlies walking through town on their way out.
The grizzly family has been sighted fairly regularly this year since it came out of hibernation and two of 399’s yearlings were recently collared by wildlife officials in order to better track their movements.
The bears have been spotted near human homes and accessing human sources of food, such as beehives, unsecured animal feed and garbage, according to the Jackson Hole Buckrail.
According to the town of Jackson, garbage in trash cans, left over Halloween pumpkins and bird food are all potential items which bears could feed on as they prepare for hibernation. Receiving a food reward conditions bears to associate food with people, which can lead to destructive or dangerous behaviors.
“This is a good reminder to urge residents in the town and county to please not leave garbage outside, remove pumpkins, birdfeeders and anything that bears may be attracted to,” Weber said.
In order to reduce possible bear conflicts store garbage in certified bear resistant containers or in a secure building or enclosure at all times. In addition, hang bird feeders with a catch pan, at least 10 feet from the ground, deck railing or patio and 4 feet away from any tree, post, or support structure.