From Staff Reports
CODY, WYO. — As part of ongoing efforts to monitor the population of grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone area, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department will conduct trapping operations in the Grass Creek drainage northwest of Thermopolis April 23 – May 23.
All areas where trapping is being conducted will have major access points marked with warning signs. Game and Fish officials advise all members of the public heed these signs.
Wildlife officials studying grizzly bears previously did not alert the public via notices to regional press about trapping operations. But researchers changed that policy after botanist Erwin Evert was killed by a grizzly bear in June 2010 near Kitty Creek in the Shoshone National Forest, just east of the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park. The bear had been trapped and drugged as part of a government study and was released just before the fatal attack. Evert’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the federal government.
Game and Fish officials describe grizzly trapping, tagging, sampling and other activities as “vital” to the ongoing recovery of grizzlies in the Yellowstone area. To attract bears, biologists use food sources such as fresh road-killed deer and elk to capture grizzly bears with snares or in culvert traps. According to a statement released by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, bears are “immobilized, processed, released on site and monitored in accordance with strict protocols developed jointly by the Game and Fish, US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team.”
When bear trapping activities are being conducted for research purposes, the vicinity of the site will be posted with bright warning signs to inform the public of these activities The signs will be posted along the major access points to the trapping site, and wildlife managers advise that individuals not venture into posted areas.