Lonely Planet Writer

Record year for grizzly-human contact in Wyoming

A grizzly bear fishing for salmon in Alaska. Image by brewbooks / CC BY 2.0
A grizzly bear fishing for salmon. Image by brewbooks / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department counted 164 instances of conflict between grizzly bears and human activity in 2014, up from 152 conflicts in the previous year. Most conflicts involved grizzly bears and livestock, pets or other animals belonging to humans, and only one person died as a result of a grizzly bear attack. Still, the ballooning numbers are alarming, as it shows that grizzlies are expanding beyond their expected range – as bears continue to increase in number and geographic distribution, more contact with humans is likely.

The Game and Fish Department uses a number of techniques to manage bear population, including relocation and human education, but sometimes the only option is to kill the bear. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is considering lifting protections on grizzlies in Idaho and Montana, which would allow the states to decide whether to open the animals up to trophy hunting. Read more: billingsgazette.com