A Grand Teton grizzly has been relocated within the park after the subadult bear received a food reward in two incidents due to “irresponsible” human actions, leading to charges against a visitor, according to an NPS report.
A food storage violation citation with a mandatory court appearance was issued to the individual that had the unattended trash and drink. The reported feeding of the Grand Teton grizzly from a vehicle is under investigation.
On June 11 a visitor reported that a grizzly bear walked through a Grassy Lake Road campsite, sniffed a picnic table and unoccupied tent, and put its paws on the tent. No damage was done to the tent. Visitors yelled at the bear and the bear ran away.
On June 12 Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received a report of visitors feeding a grizzly bear from a vehicle south of Lizard Creek Campground.
On June 13 Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received a report of a grizzly bear gaining access to unattended trash and a drink at a campsite located on the outer loop of the Headwaters Campground.
All reports and evidence indicated that the same grizzly bear was involved with each incident. Late on June 13 park staff captured the grizzly bear along the Grassy Lake Road. On June 14, the bear was collared and biological samples were collected. The bear is a young male that is approximately 2.5 years old.
The bear was relocated early Tuesday morning, June 15, via boat to the west side of Jackson Lake, as shown in the above NPS photo.
“Feeding wildlife is illegal and dangerous, and we take these incidents very seriously,” Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Chip Jenkins said via press release.” The impacts of irresponsible behavior can have very negative effects for humans and wildlife.”
Bears that obtain human food may lose their natural fear of humans and may seek out humans and human developed areas as an easy source of food. As a result, bear may become aggressive towards people and have to be killed.