After being incognito for about a month, the famous bruin pair was seen last week, and it has been a good summer for them so far! The harsh winter and wet summer have provided good food sources for bears – winter-kill carcasses, abundant grass and forage, and a banner crop of berries. It’s also hard not to wonder how easy it must seem for Momma 399 with just one cub after having four in her last litter in 2020…!
But fall hyperphagia is kicking in – the incredible desire bears have to fatten up before they den for the winter – and this may be why 399 and her cub have travelled to the southern part of the Valley. They were first seen leaving the park and heading south last Friday, August 25th. Momma 399 first came south into residential areas of the Valley in 2020 when she had 4 cubs, and we know they obtained human food sources, which is typically the first step in escalating bear conflict, often ending in removal (or killing) of the ‘problem’ bear. In fact, that was the fate of one of 399’s cubs from 2020. In 2022, grizzly 1057, one of 399’s quadruplet cubs, was killed after 13 documented conflicts with humans in Sublette County (conflicts are defined as obtaining human food, or damaging property or livestock).
We can help prevent this same fate for 399 and her cub by securing any food sources in our community. We can COEXIST with bears if we take pro-active steps before conflicts.
A ‘fed bear is a dead bear’! This is the reason the county and town adopted new bear regulations (adopted county-wide and in the Bear Conflict Zone at the Town’s perimeter).
- Trash containers and dumpsters anywhere in Teton County are required to be Bear-Resistant (IGBC approved, inside of the Town of Jackson). Get a Bear-Resistant trash can here.
- Feeding of wildlife is prohibited and bird feeders need to be unavailable to wildlife at all times of year.
- All attractants must be unavailable to wildlife (livestock feed, apiaries, chicken coops, compost, etc.). A resource for using electric fencing for controlling bears or other predators is here.
- Ornamental fruit bearing trees and shrubs, like crabapples, are prohibited. Existing ornamental, non-native fruit trees shall be managed by harvesting ripe and fallen fruit or fencing to prevent wildlife access. A local company, Farmstead Cider, is producing cider from local crab apples, and will assist community members by harvesting their crabapples.
The Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance has been working for over 40 years to help humans coexist with our wild neighbors. Please share your opinions and ideas concerning grizzlies or other wildlife or conservation issue with Conservation Director Kevin Krasnow at Kevin@jhalliance.org
Thank you for your partnership in conserving the wildlife, wild places, and community character of Jackson Hole!
Big thank you to Roam Wild Photo Tours for use of their excellent photo and video!