- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 5, 2014

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - Wildlife watchers are searching for answers after a grizzly bear that was well known in the Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park areas was killed by Wyoming wildlife managers.

The death of bear No. 760 came last month after the young male had repeatedly ventured into developed areas and was twice relocated, wildlife officials said.

The bear’s death has spurred an online petition from people who want an explanation for the decision to euthanize the bear, the Jackson Hole News & Guide (https://tinyurl.com/lm9jqst ) reports.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department large carnivore supervisor Dan Thompson said the bear pulled a hunter’s deer out of a tree outside a home in Clark, and when confronted, didn’t back down.

“It was exhibiting food-guarding behavior,” Thompson said. “There were people right there, and the bear stayed there.”

The bear had been relocated to the Clark area in mid-October after wandering around a subdivision south of Grand Teton National Park about a month earlier. The bear had charged at a person in their yard, Thompson said.

“I’m not saying it was going to hurt the person,” he said. “It was a proximity thing.”

The young male bear spent much of his 3 1/2 years in roadside areas of the park but never exhibited any aggression, said biologist Kate Wilmot.

“He was a classic habituated roadside bear,” she said, meaning he foraged for natural food close to roads and tolerated people at distances closer than most other bears would.

Park officials closed the Moose-Wilson Road for just over a week in September because the bear was near the roadway filling up on chokecherries and hawthorn berries.

Red Top Meadows resident Cindy Campbell created a Facebook page in memory of bear No. 760 on which people posted pictures they had taken of the bear over the years. Many complained angrily about the decision to euthanize the bear. One questioned whether she and other photographers might be part of the reason the bear was so used to being around people.


Information from: Jackson Hole (Wyo.) News And Guide, https://www.jhnewsandguide.com

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