The Wyoming Game and Fish Department trapped a male black bear in the Bighorn National Forest Sunday night after it was fed by a camper in the Dayton Gulch area that morning – and returned for more later. The four-year-old bear was euthanized, according to Game and Fish.
Public Affairs Specialists for the Bighorn National Forest, Susie Douglas, explains.
Game and Fish says if a bear receives food from a human, it becomes habituated to humans and often will return to the same place - or travel to another campsite looking for more food. Douglas says the euthanization of the bear could have been prevented had the camper not fed the bear in the first place.
With this case in point, Game and Fish is urging visitors to the Bighorn National Forest to be bear aware and take steps to ensure a safer visit for campers and for the bears. First off, keeping a clean camp is critical. All food, garbage, toiletries and cooking equipment and utensils should be stored in approved bear-resistant containers or in closed vehicles.
Scraps of food should be kept out of the campfire and tents. Any strange odor, from food to insect repellent, is known to attract a bear. For more information on bear safety, visit www.bebearaware.org.
Editor's note: Sheridan Media's Ron Richter contributed to this report.