JACKSON, Wyo. — In a statement to the public, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has responded to concerns regarding the hazing of Grizzly 863, also known as Felicia by her public observers.
“There are no plans to kill grizzly bear 863. Euthanasia is a management tactic of last resort. It is the goal of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and our partners to avoid this scenario,” said USFWS.
While they do not plan to kill 863, they encourage the public to remain cognizant of human impact on wildlife families and their habitats.
“The public can help by following common sense bear safety practices and giving space for managers to conduct hazing operations.”
In the statement that lists the reasoning behind the hazing operation against 863, USFWS and partners explained that they are hazing 863 to move her and her cubs away from the dangerous situation being caused by humans on and adjacent to Highway 26/287.
“Even with intensive multi-agency effort to curb or direct human behavior, visitors and photographers continue to approach this female grizzly with cubs at extremely unsafe distances,” said the USFWS.
USFWS largely attributed the hazing operation to human disturbance.
“If humans stop only in legal highway pullouts, and remain in vehicles, hazing would not be necessary. However, when humans stop, exit vehicles, and approach bears on foot, the risk increases that grizzly bears, especially sows with cubs, will charge humans. This poses a significant threat to human life.”
Ultimately, USFWS expressed that their intention is to avoid euthanasia.
“Once a bear charges or attacks a human in that manner, it is much more likely that a decision could be made that relocation or euthanization could be necessary – actions that we want to avoid.”
To read the full response from USFWS click here.
About The Author
Buckrail @ Caroline
Caroline Chapman is a Community News Reporter who recently made Jackson home. Born and raised in Connecticut, she enjoys reading non-fiction, skiing, hiking, and playing piano in her downtime. She is most passionate about delivering and pursuing stories that directly impact the lives of individuals in the community. Her favorite aspect about living in Jackson is the genuine admiration that Wyomingites share for the land and the life that it sustains.
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