Above photo: Barb Zimmer
Due to its critical importance, we are going to post about this again — The most important thing each resident can do to keep our local wildlife safe is to secure food attractants so they are unavailable to wildlife.
Once a bear’s boldness is rewarded with human food, the bear becomes more bold, and less afraid of humans. This sets up more and more likely conflict with each food reward. It also makes it more likely that the offending grizzly will ultimately be killed.
A stark reminder – just two years ago, 6 grizzlies in Teton County were “removed,” or killed, due to conflicts with humans. In each case, the story was similar, the bear obtained a human food reward (typically garbage and/or grain) and then came back repeatedly and more aggressively.
“A Fed Bear Is A Dead Bear!” – We need to make sure bears do not have access to food in our community!
Now is “hyperphagia” for bears – a time before hibernation where they become insatiably hungry in an effort to fatten up before winter.
Using a bear resistant trash can is the first step, but other attractants may need to be secured as well. New County regulations (also adopted in the Bear Conflict Area in the Town of Jackson) prohibit wildlife access to crabapples, birdfeeders, or any food attractant (like livestock or pet food, honey, or compost).
We can COEXIST with bears if we take pro-active steps before conflicts.
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!