WYOMING – A grizzly bear was trapped in the Wapiti, WY area today and relocated near Dubois, WY. The sub-adult male grizzly was captured for frequenting developed sites near Wapiti. In cooperation with the Shoshone National Forest, the bear was relocated to the Wind River drainage approximately 23 miles west of Dubois. The release site is located in currently occupied grizzly bear habitat.
Grizzly bear relocation is a management tool afforded to large carnivore biologists to minimize conflicts between humans and grizzly bears and is critical to the management of the population. When other options are exhausted or unattainable Game and Fish will attempt to capture the bear. Once the animal is captured, all circumstances are taken into account when determining if the individual should be relocated or removed from the population.
If relocation is warranted, the selection of a relocation site is determined taking into consideration the age, sex, and type of conflict the bear was involved in as well as potential human activity in the vicinity of the relocation site. Consultation with the appropriate personnel and agencies occurs to minimize the chance of future conflicts and maximize the survival potential of the relocated grizzly bear. Bears that are deemed an immediate threat to human safety are not released back into the wild.
Bears are relocated in accordance with state and federal law and regulation. Game and Fish 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.