ALTA, Wyo.— An aggressive black bear that pushed an individual out of his hammock has prompted Caribou-Targhee National Forest officials to issue a temporary camping closure up Teton Canyon.
The incident unfolded on Friday night and the individual was able to retreat to the safety of his car while the bear destroyed the hammock and sleeping bag. The bear then tried to enter an occupied tent before it was finally scared away. Fortunately, no one was injured during this interaction, says the Forest Service.
Wyoming Game and Fish responded the next day and placed a trap in the area. After the bear did not return to the site for three consecutive nights, Game and Fish pulled its trap from Teton Canyon on June 14. Biologists from the agency continue to monitor the area daily.
“Even though the bear still shows some healthy fear towards humans, its aggressiveness towards camps, tents, stationery items and food rewards is increasing, which is why we no longer feel it’s safe to camp in anything other than a hard-sided vehicle,” said Joe McFarlane, Recreation Manager for the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. “The canyon is still open to recreational use, but we ask people to take extreme precautions in the area.”
The Forest intends to keep the temporary closure in place up the Canyon until the bear is captured or the threat is diminished to an acceptable level of risk. Hard-sided vehicles may still camp in the area.
The Forest Service reminds outdoor recreationists that Teton Basin is in bear country.
Be bear aware and make sure you have bear spray easily accessible. For more information on how to be bear aware click here. Contact the Teton Basin Ranger District at 208-354-2312 for information on the temporary closure.