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Grizzly Bear Captured in Yellowstone

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Date: August 21, 2007
Contact: Al Nash, 307-344-2010
Contact: Stacy Vallie, 307-344-2012

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
Yellowstone National Park
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190          


August 21, 2007    07-79 
Al Nash or Stacy Vallie (307) 344-2010 or 344-2012




Grizzly Captured In Yellowstone National Park

A three-year-old female grizzly bear weighing approximately 140 pounds has been captured after frequenting two developed areas near Yellowstone Lake for the last two years.

Grizzly number 539 had entered the Lake Village and Fishing Bridge developments numerous times. She had been hazed away from those areas using beanbag rounds, cracker shells and other techniques, on over 40 occasions. This bear had previously been relocated by boat to the opposite side of Yellowstone Lake and by helicopter to the Gallatin Mountains in Yellowstone National Park. She returned to the Lake Village and Fishing Bridge developed areas after both relocations. She has been responsible for at least eight instances of property damage, mostly by chewing hoses used for sewage hookups on employee trailer houses.

Because multiple hazing and relocation efforts were not effective, the decision was made to remove the bear. She was captured on August 19, and transported by truck to the Washington State University Bear Research, Education, and Conservation Program. For more than 20 years, the bear management program in Yellowstone has assisted with and benefited from the non-invasive, ecology, nutrition, and physiology studies on bears performed at Washington State University. More information on the program is available at: http://www.natural-resources.wsu.edu/research/bear-center/index.html.

The Yellowstone National Park bear management policy strives to ensure a natural and free-ranging population of black and grizzly bears. This bear was habituated to people, had been involved in several instances of property damage, and had also received some minor food rewards. Bears that are both conditioned to human foods and habituated to human presence often become dangerous to people. Removal was considered the best course of action in this case to prevent a possible human injury and further property damage.

Park regulations require people to stay 100 yards - the length of a football field - away from black and grizzly bears at all times. Visitors are also reminded to keep food, garbage, barbecue grills and other attractants stored in hard-sided vehicles or bear-proof food storage boxes. This helps keep bears from becoming conditioned to human foods, and helps keep park visitors and their property safe.

Bear sightings should be reported to the nearest visitor center or ranger station as soon as possible.

- www.nps.gov/yell -

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