Photo Tim Diaz, National Museum of Wildlife Art.

JACKSON, Wyo. — On Wednesday afternoon, a black bear wandered onto the terrace of the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Security guard Tim Diaz snapped this photo of the curious visitor before he hightailed it through the Sculpture Trail, through the parking lot and safely back up the butte.

According to Wyoming Game and Fish Department, roughly 1,000 grizzly bears are thought to exist in the core of the 20 million-plus protected acres of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), which includes Jackson Hole, Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks.

In 2020, the estimated grizzly population in GYE was around 727 animals, while in 2021 it was reported to be closer to 1,096.

The current estimate of the black bear population is between 500 and 650.

Toby Koekkoek is a Community News Reporter, and a recent resident of Teton Valley. He enjoys writing about our region's community events and the movers and shakers that make up the culture of this unique mountain town. He enjoys deep powder, and deep thoughts, skateboarding, playing racquet sports, riding his bike, and nerding out on music. Toby also coaches freeride skiing for the Jackson Hole Ski Club and runs skateboard camps in the summer.