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Grizzly bear euthanized in Bighorn Mountain basin

First documented grizzly in the area south of Bighorn Mountains for decades
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Posted at 8:01 AM, Apr 16, 2024

(Wyoming Game and Fish Department press release)

A grizzly bear was euthanized Monday after confirmed cattle depredation on private land south of Ten Sleep. On April 14, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department investigated a report of an injured cow with wounds consistent with a grizzly bear depredation.

Wildlife managers verified nearby tracks and signs that suggested the bear frequented the ranch for approximately one week. The subadult, male grizzly bear was euthanized after consultation with the United States Fish and

Wildlife Service due to its involvement in depredation and its behavior frequenting the ranch.

The location of the conflict was in the basin of the Bighorn Mountains and more than 80 miles from the eastern boundary of what is known as the Demographic Monitoring Area — the area considered biologically and socially suitable for grizzly bears. Grizzly bears have not been documented in this area south of the Bighorn Mountains since long before the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem population was listed under the Endangered Species Act in the 1970s.

“Wyoming’s grizzly bear population is managed and monitored where suitable habitat exists as designated by the USFWS and informed by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team,” said Game and Fish Director Brian Nesvik. “The Bighorn Mountain Range is not suitable habitat and the department is not interested in allowing grizzly bears to occupy this area. Their expansion into unsuitable habitat leads to increased conflict potential between bears and humans, which impedes the success of grizzly bear conservation.”

Grizzly bears in the lower 48 states are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Management authority for grizzly bears rests with the USFWS. Game and Fish handles nearly all grizzly bear conflicts and conducts significant levels of monitoring, research and public education in accordance with the department’s Grizzly Bear Management Plan.