JACKSON, WY — A black bear hanging out around Snow King Drive got a little too close for comfort this week.
After multiple reports of the bear acting too bold around humans, Wyoming Game & Fish trapped the bear at around 4:30 this afternoon. Game & Fish PIO Mark Gocke said they’re not sure where they’ll take him, but it’ll be somewhere far away.
“We don’t want it to return,” Gocke said. “We want to give it the best chance to live out its life in the wild and do what bears do.”
Trapping was easier than they expected, which means the bear really isn’t shy. “We barely had the trap set and the bear came right in,” Gocke said.
The bear is a mature male around 6-7 years old, Gocke said. He’s not marked, which means he has no prior history of conflict. There were also no reports of him obtaining food rewards. As far as Game & Fish knows, he was just eating berries in the area but still getting too comfortable around humans. He was reported on people’s porches and threating neighborhood dogs.
His lack of priors might bode well for him in his new home, but Game & Fish tagged his ear so they can identify him if anything happens down the road.
Gocke said bear activity in residential areas isn’t uncommon, especially in the fall. Certain residential areas are also ripe with berries, and bears are trying to fatten up for the winter. Calls to Game & Fish have ramped up recently with reports of bears in residential neighborhoods. But they’re not problem bears until humans let them be. Gocke said this is a reminder to “be vigilant about keeping bear attractants unavailable.” That means putting your trash out the morning of pickup, not the night before — trash left outside is one of the biggest culprits of good bears gone bad. Bird feeder and pet food are the other big ones.
“This serves as a reminder that bears are in close proximity,” Gocke said.
This bear was lucky — enough people reported him soon enough that Game & Fish was able to relocate him. Other bears haven’t been so lucky. It’s up to us to keep bears conflict-free.
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