Another Black Bear in Grand Teton Put Down

For the second time in a week Grand Teton officials have had to kill a bear that grew accustomed to foraging for human food. Kurt Repanshek photo.

Grand Teton National Park officials have had to kill another black bear that had become accustomed to linking humans with food. This is the second bear in less than a week that park officials killed because it had become habituated to human food.

In the first incident, the bear in question had become used to looking for food in Colter Bay Village. The latest incident involved a bear that had been raiding backpackers' packs in Garnet Canyon, rummaging for food in the Lupine Meadows parking lot, and foraging among campsites and cars at Jenny Lake Campground.

This past Monday the bruin broke into a car at Jenny Lake, and on Tuesday she was seen checking out tents, fire rings, and bear boxes in the campground.

While frequenting the Lupine Meadows parking lot, the bear eventually got a stuff sack filled with food; she also obtained food left in the back of a pickup truck parked at the trailhead. Most recently, she began to boldly approach cars—even crawling on top of a few—and put her head into both the open trunk and front seat of a vehicle, said park officials.

In addition to the incidents involving food rewards at the Lupine Meadows parking lot, the bear was also reported to be wandering around the Surprise Lake area. On one occasion, she obtained and ate a tube of sunscreen. She also investigated unoccupied tents in that area.

While rangers tried relocating the bear, moving her on August 18 to the Grassy Lake Road in John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, she returned to Garnet Canyon within four days. She also visited the Surprise Lake area, where she tore into a tent and got into some backpacks.

Interestingly, there was no word in the release as to whether rangers issued citations to the owner of the pickup truck, the stuff sack, or the backpackers who left their packs on the ground or in their tent. Perhaps that should be required information so folks who read these stories understand they'll be fined if they don't correct their behavior.

Comments

Exactly correct about the citations. The reason these bears are being put down is directly related to the easy access of food due to carelessness of visitors, campers, and backpackers. The NPS needs to get serious with the fines. I'm talking $200 minimum for carelessness, $500 for outright feeding of bears. It's the only way people will learn that their are serious consequences to their seemingly innocuous actions.

kurt- maybe i missed something in the previous posts, but how is the overall population of black bears doing in the area, at least before the drought hit, good or bad?

all those people should be fined. in drought years, educational enforcement just isn't enough.