Popular Grand Teton grizzly “euthanized” near Clark, Wyoming! (Updated 11-12-14)
A good, but roadside griz, is shot after transplant far to the NE-
Grizzly bear 760 was a popular sub-adult male in the Grand Teton NP area. Photographers had followed him from his cubhood. He was probably one of even more famous grizzly 399’s cubs from 2013, or one of 399’s older daughter, 610’s.
Despite not being aggressive toward people, he started showing up in the subdivision estates next to the Park (The Aspens), and held up traffic on the busy Moose to Wilson, GTNP backroad, by standing on the narrow pavement and eating roadside berries. He was trapped by Wyoming Game and Fish and transported well to the northeast to the North Fork of the Shoshone River. That is about 5 miles east of Yellowstone Park.
Yellowstone social media experts commented that is country for really large bruins, and said that sub-adult 760 would quickly be forced out of their territory. In seeming confirmation, 760 soon showed up at Clark, Wyoming. This small area is just south of the Montana border, on the edge of the plains about 25 miles north of Cody.
After a few days near Clark, he was shot by Game and Fish. It is not clear if 760 had made any aggressive moves, but he hung around the scattered dwellings and pointedly did not back down after he pulled a hunter’s deer out of a tree near a house at Clark. It is easy to see his behavior was not very different from at Grand Teton. He did not threaten people, and lived with houses and especially traffic passing him. The deer was just typical lucky carrion he found. He probably perceived people as harmless parts of his world.
Grizzlies that don’t run from people or respect our property typically don’t last, especially with bears and people having different conceptions of how and who owns property.
– – – –
Some more info. I have been told that it is now determined dead grizzly 760 turned out to be grizzly 610’s son, not 399’s. Of course, 610 is 399’s adult daughter. The dead bear was not quite four years old.
Update 2. Nov. 12, 2014
Let’s make sure 760 didn’t die in vain. By Lyn Dalebout. Jackson Hole News and Guide. This LTE has a lot of detailed information about 760, i.e., why people cared about him.
Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.
53 Responses to Popular Grand Teton grizzly “euthanized” near Clark, Wyoming! (Updated 11-12-14)
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A bullet always seems to be the cheapest and easiest option to “manage” wildlife. It is rarely the best option.
Loren: +1 You have said it exactly right… I only hope our wildlife “managers” eventually get educated and get the message.
This is a preview of what will happen if grizzlies are delisted. Here is a letter I sent to some Montana newspapers.
The USFWS has proposed to remove protection from the Yellowstone grizzly bear. As a research ecologist who has studied grizzlies in Yellowstone, AK and BC for 40 years I see many reasons not to do this.
I address biological issues and address threatening this population, not the bear-hostile politics of surrounding states nor important sovereignty issues of Native American people.
• Before delisting the USFWS data, comparing age/weight curves of male and female adult bears before and after the major decline in white bark pine seeds, needs to be analyzed and made public.
• Population data on post-WBP is inadequately analyzed. It should be made available to independent scientists.
• USFWS claims that grizzlies will adapt to alternate foods substituting for the decimation of its former diet. If true, these food should be identified and tested for nutritional equivalence? If alternate food items are similar in food value to the bears why are bears not already accessing them?
• In Glacier NP and British Columbia grizzlies rely heavily on berry-producing shrubs during fall fattening but the 21 species of berry shrubs in the Yellowstone system are an insignificant part of their diet. Decades of elk browsing has reduced berry production to about one-thousandth of the numbers found inside exclosures nearby. Until berry production comes back delisting should be delayed?
Bears develop a complex knowledge of seasonal food items. Each bear is linked to its habitat by a rich web of learned and socially transmitted behavior. It takes years to learn about food resources, and what alternatives of similar nutrient value may be substituted. What makes managers believe that grizzlies can switch quickly to new food resources of dubious value?
• When Yellowstone’s garbage dumps were closed in the early 1970s bear managers assumed that the bears would revert to natural foods. They did not. Rangers shot about 220 grizzlies that diverted to campgrounds in search of substitute foods. The unexamined assumption of bears adapting to other foods is now dangerous to the bear’s future . Should not protection of current grizzlies be guided by good science not myths and political expediency?
This is just a very sad article in my opinion, why is it always wildlife has to suffer, while people in control rush to take the easy way out by killing. Yes the bear was moved once but you knew Ralph he would be back, and my guess is the wildlife control knew too. Just another shame really is so unnecessary for this to happen.
Folks thought 760 would be back, and he hardly stayed where they released him. However, he didn’t come back to Jackson Hole. He continued to the northeastward to Clark.
Several years ago a man was out walking on his property near Clark, Wyoming and a grizzly mauled him, fortunately the man was able to get out his 41 mag and kill the bear. It was discussed on TWN.
I was in Red Lodge,Mt last weekend visiting my good friend who has 120 acres near town: he has had several grizzlies on his land this year. According the local state biologist there a large number of bears on the Beartooth Front from the state line at Clark, Wyoming to the East Rosebud River and beyond.
Elk, Don’t understand what that mauling would have to do with this bear being killed. Two different situations. Why didn’t they relocate this bear again to someplace like where I live in Sunlight. I thought the rule was 3 strikes. This bear did not eat any chickens, cattle or sheep.
Bears show up all the time in Sunlight on carcasses and in my driveway eating berries. What was the big deal here that a bear had to be killed?
As Doug Peacock would say “Too many people in this world not enough bears.”
Seems we are grappling with the same problem they are dealing with in Africa and southeast Asia: will we tolerate the risk of living with large carnivores? If the answer is “yes”, how much risk are we willing to tolerate, and will this be enough for these species? If not, what are we going to do? Watch them go extinct, or, as they’ve done in parts of Africa, will we relocate human populations in order to ensure their persistence? Am I missing an alternative???
“Grizzlies that don’t run from people or respect our property typically don’t last, especially with bears and people having different conceptions of how and who owns property.”
The same can be said for wolves, coyotes, raccoons, foxes etc. If they don’t run and dare to be out during the day they must be rabid, dangerous or threatening someone’s pets. I’ll never get over Romeo the black wolf and some sob shooting him.
People tend to believe there is something wrong with wildlife if they are seen during the day, what they don’t realize is that animals like coyotes have adapted their living to nocturnal lifestyles to avoid the heavy persecution by humans. That’s fd up.
I spent a brief time in the Galapagos and was amazed to see wild animals right up close. None bothered to move even when walking within a few feet of them on a path. They had never been hunted. It was one of the most incredible and uplifting things that has ever happened to me.
I’m tired of wild animals being killed simply for the location their in. It reminds me of the west Australia shark cull. They want to kill sharks if they “linger” near popular swimming beaches.
this is what killed this bear….
“Photographers had followed him from his cubhood.”
Habituating wildlife to close human presence, regardless of motive, is a death sentence.
Yes, because one day one of ’em will turn on ya….
Sorry Mikepost. depends where. Books River has 50 bears that are totally habituated to people. Been going on for decades (and maybe centuries with Aleuts. And i am a guy who nearly died from a griz counter-attack in YNP in 1077.
Food-conditioned bears are growing problems but not habituated. Not as simple as you think.
Tom Mangelsen, a wildlife photographer who lives in Jackson Hole and trained as a wildlife biologist, posted the following to Facebook:
“I was very saddened and terribly distraught when I heard that Grizzly 760 had been killed by the Wyoming Game & Fish Department. 760 by all accounts was a model grizzly bear that had learned to coexist and trust humans. He brought joy to millions of people, including myself, in Grand Teton National Park. I remain very skeptical as to why Game & Fish thought this bear had to die.”
Grizzlies that don’t run from people or respect our property typically don’t last, especially with bears and people having different conceptions of how and who owns property.
I’m sure we all realize this is going to get worse and worse as the years go by, and humans encroach more and more into wildlife habitat? Holding up traffic? Sheesh, they almost ‘euthanize’ other humans for that in today’s world! Holding up human business is not held in high esteem, no matter who does it.
I meant to write Brooks River in Katmai NP. And 1977 was the date I intended. (Need to read my own stuff, ya.)
To add to Barrie’s comment… There’s a tremendous difference between food-conditioned bears and habituated bears. Habituated bears are actually great for the NPS–they allow people to have those ‘once in a lifetime’ experience with bears with relatively low risk; food-conditioned bears are a menace and need to be removed asap.
I don’t agree with that. It isn’t necessary for people to have a once-in a-lifetime experience,or at least my definition of a once-in-a-lifetime experience doesn’t including getting pictures (or taking foolish selfies!), at the expense of wildlife. They are etched into my memory.
I believe any kind of contact could be a danger to them, because they will learn to associate all humans with food, I don’t see how they couldn’t?
Or at least they will learn not to fear us, and that would be a terrible misinterpretation. Even for us humans, holding up traffic is almost a capital offense.
As Dr. Gilbert points out, learning not to fear us (habituation) is only problematic in certain contexts/locations. That’s the key. About a month ago I stood on a hill with 150 people watching wolves from roughly a mile off. Those wolves would’ve acted the same were we 100 yards away–because it was Yellowstone, and they learned to trust people. That was fine for both people and wolves until they were delisted.
Ida: Wildlife does not associate humans with food unless humans are providing it with food. Go to any wildlife refuge or national park and you will see wildlife that clearly ignores humans and goes about its business. Because humans are not feeding wildlife or shooting at them or getting in their face, it simply means that wildlife can just be their natural selves. Thank goodness for the invention of the telephoto lens.
Thank goodness for the invention of the telephoto lens.
Yes. And the further away the better!
Such terrible news about the lions in Tanzania.
I loved the map of wolf habitat!
But is the person’s experience more important than the lives of bears? Or how do you feel about hunting over bait? Why is it ok to leave out food in one instance, but not in others? I don’t see how the activities are isolated. They all lead to wildlife becoming habituated, and ultimately killed if the whims of humans decide it.
or if the whims of humans demand it, I should say. I don’t thing the National Parks are a wilderness amusement park for people; they are also supposed to be a last safe refuge for our wildlife.
I’ll never forget the time I complained to a park ranger about people harassing the elk by getting too close and taking pictures, children running around unsupervised. I was told ‘you’re not on your turf here.’ Well, neither was the tourist behaving badly. Also, bison were holding up traffic. 🙂
What an unfortunate and sad outcome. I appreciate JB’s last comment, because it’s something I certainly did not know.
– According to Ralph’s report they moved him once and were warned he would probably return. Do you think they exhausted all non-lethal options? Could they have found a better place for him?
– My concern with his habituation lies more with people than with the bear. If the bear was relatively not dangerous how long would it be before someone tries to push the boundaries? We’ve all seen how some people will try to get too close and physically interact with wildlife. The result is too often tragic for both human and wildlife.
– If he was a young bear would he act the same way once he matures and looks for a mate? I don’t know grizzly behavior so I don’t know the answer.
It seems as big and wide open as WY and MT are that they could have tried to move him to a different place before killing him.
I hope people learn from this incident, but have little faith they will.
ELK375 neglected to mention that the bear that “mauled” a property owner near Clark was actually protecting her three clubs. He could have used pepper spray instead of his 41Mag. with better results for him and the bears. Her clubs are now in one of those animal jails called a zoo.
He was also on his private property.
Pretty sure the bear didn’t know that Elk.
Our species can’t keep it together when it comes to killing our own kind:
I thought JB summed it up well with this comment:
“Seems we are grappling with the same problem they are dealing with in Africa and southeast Asia: will we tolerate the risk of living with large carnivores? If the answer is “yes”, how much risk are we willing to tolerate, and will this be enough for these species? If not, what are we going to do? Watch them go extinct, or, as they’ve done in parts of Africa, will we relocate human populations in order to ensure their persistence? Am I missing an alternative???”
My feelings exactly and question, especially when we take the time to realize wildlife knows no boundaries, and their habitat (and our species desire to build ever close to them) is shrinking everyday.
Nancy: “…especially when we take the time to realize wildlife knows no boundaries” (????) Don’t you mean people know no boundaries? The ALTERNATIVE you seek in the U.S., Africa and Asia is for people to learn to LIVE WITH WILDLIFE. The Maasai in East Africa are learning to live with African lions, the people in the U.S. Midwest including Michigan are learning to live with wolves, people living on the edges of grizzly bear county are learning to live with grizzly bears, etc.
Many rare animals are being eliminated from their habitats by poachers and illegal trading in endangered species, which most people and governments find deplorable, and are working to stop.
“Nancy: “…especially when we take the time to realize wildlife knows no boundaries” (????) Don’t you mean people know no boundaries?”
Ed – you missed the point I was trying to make.
Nancy: Sorry if I missed your point, which now I have no idea, if you disagree with the Alternative that people must learn to LIVE WITH WILDLIFE instead of pushing the other one out of the way.
This may be copyrighted but Tanzania is a long ways from here.
Villager poisons, kills lions in Serengeti
Several lions have been killed by what is believed to be poison in Serengeti District, Mara Region, officials confirmed on Friday.
The wild animals were found dead on Thursday at Park Nyigoti village in a game reserve area belonging to Ikona Wildlife Management Area (WMA).
The village borders Serengeti National Park and Ikorongo/Grumeti Game Reserves in the Serengeti ecosystem and early reports indicate that the lions were deliberately killed by a villager.
“It is true six lions were found dead out of which four were male and two female,” Acting Wildlife Officer with the Serengeti District Council, Mr Cuthbert Boma told this paper on Friday.
“There were 17 lions but 11 survived and it appears those killed died after eating animal remains that were laced with poisonous chemicals,” Mr Boma said.
Game officials from different departments including those from the Tanzanian National Parks (TANAPA) rushed to the scene after reports of the deaths to establish what had actually happened, he said.
“Samples of the chemicals have been taken to the Chief Government Chemist to establish the kind of poison that killed the wild animals,” he said.
Reports say that a livestock keeper is believed to have poisoned the lions and police have already launched a manhunt for the suspect.
It is said that the man acted in revenge after the pride had attacked and killed his cow the previous day.
Human and wildlife conflicts have been increasing in the villages located near the country’s national parks and other game protected areas in the recent years.
Residents of Serengeti District and other areas of Mara Region living near game protected areas have blame authorities for ignoring massive destruction caused by wild animals such as elephants to their crops.
By MUGINI JACOB, Tanzania Daily News
These are the Maasai People.
Elk: I hope you are not saying that all villagers living next to the Serengeti are criminals like this one person?? If they all were like him, lions and the rest of the wildlife would have vanished years ago. Just like a person illegally killing a mountain lion in the USA is not typical — thank goodness.
Ed these are comments from people who were born and have lived in Africa all their lives:
The Masai will never, ever stop killing lions by any and all means possible and at every opportunity.
They are a law unto themselves and refuse to have anything with the Government, who are just at fault. I am fine with them maintaining their identity, but to the detriment of society as a whole – no way.
Government is actually to scared to get involved.
Originally posted by Bwanamich:
Originally posted by fujotupu:
They know of no other means than poison – no longer do they have the balls of their forefathers to confront a lion face to face. coffee
Not all Fujo…. we still regularly hear of incidents where they speared lion, leopard and even buff for the hell of it
During the time I spent in Kitiangare, lions were killed by poisoning the carcass and only once did I hear of a spearing: when a bunch Morani went after a couple of lions that were closer to being dead than alive from poisoning.
When a goat is lost to a leopard, if they find the half eaten carcass (which they do most of the time) that cat is deader than dead within the next 24 hours by courtesy of several injected doses of cattle dip.
The only times any buffalo were speared (which we had to haul out) were the ones which fell into the waterholes in Kitiangare valley spring system and those at Langu and they certainly didn’t kill them for the hell of it as they laid claim to the meat; the waterhole in the meantime and for the next several days ended up being contaminated by blood and crap from the lacerated guts until they decided to empty it.
They are pretty courageous when it comes to spearing tortoises though Big Grin
Bottom line Mich, poison is the Maasai’s deadliest, efficient (can wipe out the entire pride in one sitting) and most readily obtainable legal weapon on hand.
These quotes are from Accurate Reloading and are not copyrighted.
Even though some still do this, the program I was watching on CNN had a Masai chieftain who was a little more forgiving and will to work with using non-lethal means.
Elk: I think you are out of your element here and thankfully out of date. First of all, the villagers living on the edge of far western Serengeti are not Maasai – The villagers of the Park Nyigoti village written about in the article are Waikoma.
Secondly, I said that the Maasai were learning to LIVE WITH WILDLIFE, not that all Maasai have given up their old ways, just like all Americans have not given up their old ways — Lion numbers in Kenya’s Maasai Mara ecosystem bordering the Serengeti and surrounded by Maasailand have doubled in size in the last decade because the Maasai have created wildlife conservancies bordering the Maasai Mara.
Outside the open southern border of Nairobi Nat. Park, thanks to protection and co-operation from the local Maasai landowners, lion numbers have grown from only 7 in year 2003 to over 35 today, the highest count ever recorded since Nairobi Nat Park became East Africa’s first national park in 1946.
I was thinking today, while waiting during an unbearable long wait for the doctor, about something by John Muir,
“Most people are on the world, not in it — have no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything about them — undiffused, separate, and rigidly alone like marbles of polished stone, touching but separate.”
― John Muir
I think this is true and that its a big problem. As more of the natural world is converted to urban space, overrun with developments and loses its wildness, it becomes even easier to ignore the losses.
If the relatively rich, educated, free from wars and from the worst effects of poverty and overpopulation countries can’t get their shit together is there hope that places like Africa, China, India and Indonesia will preserve their natural resources?
The big question is, is there enough memory of what this planet was to create enough determination to see it survive? I hope so.
A few days ago a beautiful male grizzly bear, protected under the federal Endangered Species Act, lived in Grand Teton National Park. Today that bear is dead, the victim of the Wyoming Game & Fish Department’s ultra quick trigger in the name of “management,” the most perverted term in the English language in the wildlife context. According to the report of the killing in the Jackson Hole News & Guide, the WGFD first stated that the bear had caused no problems but later “altered” its position with lame reasons that could not possibly justify the death penalty. It is likely that the public will never get the full story. Photographers, tourists and others who enjoyed seeing this bear did not kill it; a WGFD bullet killed it, reportedly with the acquiescence of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the WGFD’s partner in the sponsorship of the annual “elk reduction program” in Grand Teton National Park, the only U.S. national park in which “hunting” is permitted. On Thanksgiving Day 2012 another ESA-protected male grizzly bear, having been drawn to and protecting a gut pile, was killed by “hunters” during the “elk reduction program.” The sad bottom line is that the WGFD has lost sight of its mission to protect and preserve Wyoming wildlife. The latest casualty is grizzly 760; it should be alive today.
Beautifully stated, Bob Aland.
The problem with large carnivores getting habituated to humans is that most of the people who encounter them in parks and other tourist areas don’t have a clue as to how to behave around those animals and what kind of inadvertent actions can trigger defensive attacks.
Saving wild lives means making/keeping them afraid of humans, hunters and others alike. Ida is correct, no one is entitled to a ‘once in a lifetime experience” (which is an every day occurrence for the animal involved). You “experience collectors” are in denial about your cumulative negative impacts on wildlife.
“You “experience collectors” are in denial about your cumulative negative impacts on wildlife”
Love that phrase “experience collectors” MP. Like our species should separate ourselves from ever interacting with other species short of taking advantage – like shooting or trapping them.
As somebody who has photographed 760 since he was about 3 months old (always with a large telephoto lens from a distance), I can say that it is ridiculous to blame wildlife watchers and photographers for “habituating” the bear. Those at fault are the Interagency grizzly bear study team and Wyoming game and fish department. They wanted to kill this bear, there haven’t been enough mortalities this year for Game and Fish’s liking, as they are wanting to keep the population around 500. So instead of moving him to somewhere in GTNP (flagg ranch, for instance), they dropped him off where they knew he would be around people. Seeing a grizzly bear in the wild, especially a Yellowstone grizzly, is what creates bear advocates. I’ve met quite a few of them. I can guarantee you if nobody ever saw a wild grizzly bear, we would have a lot fewer bear advocates. There are numerous “habituated” (note habituated, not food conditioned: there is a difference) grizzly bears in Yellowstone and Grand Teton who live a full and reproductively successful life around people and never get in trouble or never get killed. They are completely natural animals, they never get human food, they just tolerate the roads. They just ignore us and go about their business, as it should be. It would be foolish to try and create a situation in Yellowstone where all the bears are hazed away from the roads and places where they can be viewed and appreciated by the public. That’s not good for bears.
I can’t agree. Habituation is dangerous for wildlife, and this case proves it. F&W wouldn’t have done it if it hadn’t presented a ‘danger’ of some kind, and probably it would have been only a matter of time. People always take precedence. These animals need to be exposed to people as little as possible. It’s not of primary importance for people to appreciate them. I don’t believe it teaches people and their armies of little brats anything about wildlife except another form of entitlement. They can watch them from a trail cam or something, or better yet – a phone app. I guarantee the kids once miss the real thing. We need to teach people that wildlife is better off away from us and left alone, and their habitats need to be protected, such as having our wildlife in roadless areas. Our superficial needs should be secondary. For wolves, having them in the parks accustomed to seeing people leads directly to their deaths, and it will be the same for grizzlies once they are delisted.
Sure there are people who keep a respectful distance, but I have seen first had how atrocious people behave around wildlife in the park. Even the army of long lenses is disquieting for me to see. There will be plenty of serious wildlife advocates looking out for them.
“We need to teach people that wildlife is better off away from us and left alone, and their habitats need to be protected, such as having our wildlife in roadless areas”
Ida, you need to step back a moment, take a deep breath and recall your comments here a few months ago, regarding King Cove, Alaska.
Road thru a wilderness area?
I don’t need to take a step back. That road is small potatoes compared to what’s going on here. It’s not the same, a small mostly indigenous village in need of a way to get medical care via a small gravel road, which where by the way hunting is still king, and many, many birds are killed, and there are already exists a considerable network of roads. It’s not the same as millions of visitors to the parks.
Which I never said I was for either, btw. I just questioned why our esteemed Interior Secretary draws the line there, while slating the lower 48 for over-development with drilling fracking (and all the roads that needs), and the so-called ‘green’ alternatives.
A good read Ida:
“To know that you do not know is the best.
To think you know when you do not is a disease.
Recognizing this disease as a disease is to be free of it.”
― Lao Tzu
I just copied and saved that one, Nancy.
Plus, habituated animals are no longer wild. It sets up a human hierarchy that I do not like and will not do anything to encourage. Despite warnings, people do continue to feed them, blurring the lines between habituation and food conditioning, and of course hunters who bait them. There are always cases where bears having to be destroyed because of people feeding them – either because of the mistaken belief that they need food or the ‘awww isn’t he cute’ syndrome.
“Plus, habituated animals are no longer wild.”
What? Ida, that is incorrect.