Nuisance Bear Trapping Alert for Grand Teton National Park Public Advised to Heed Posted Warning Signs

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Date: July 27, 2012
Contact: Public Affairs Office, 307.739.3431

In attempts to capture one or more nuisance bears, park officials may place culvert traps at various locations in Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. Wherever bear trapping operations are underway, the area around the site will be closed to public entry and posted with bright warning signs. These signs will be posted along major access points to the trapping site. It is essential that all visitors and local residents comply with any posted closure and not venture into that area or ever approach a trap.  

Trapping operations are sometimes necessary to capture, mark and/or relocate black or grizzly bears that have become food-conditioned and therefore pose a threat to visitor safety. Bears generally pose a safety concern only after they start to associate people and their activities with easily obtained food. All visitors should heed the 'bear aware' information posted throughout the park and parkway, and take personal responsibility for securing food and other attractants while traveling or camping in bear country. 

Park officials remind visitors and local residents that both black and grizzly bears are active day and night throughout Grand Teton and the JDR Memorial Parkway: not only in backcountry areas, but also in high-use locations such as public campgrounds and picnic areas, lodge properties and visitor center locations. For the health and safety of bears, as well as that of visitors, it is important to obey these basic rules and recommendations: 

  • Use available storage facilities when camping, or secure food in your car
  • Dispose of garbage in bear-proof garbage cans provided at all campgrounds and picnic areas
  • Never leave food or backpacks unattended, even for a minute
  • While hiking:
    • Be Alert
    • Make Noise
    • Carry bear spray
    • Avoid hiking alone
    • Do not run from a bear 

Once a bear acquires human food, it often loses its fear of people and may exhibit bold or aggressive behavior. Such animals are deemed nuisance bears and must be trapped and relocated or even euthanized for public safety.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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