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Campground Bear Incident

Spery, Iowa
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Campground Bear Incident

Please use every precaution when camping in bear country for your safety and that of the bears!

From Yellowstone National Park facebook page today.:

Yellowstone Black Bear Lethally Removed From Campground

A black bear that refused to leave a Yellowstone National Park campground after obtaining human food was lethally removed by Yellowstone National Park staff on Saturday evening, June 22.

At approximately 3:30 p.m. that day, a 142-pound adult male black bear entered the Canyon Campground and approached within six feet of a man and woman eating. The campers backed off and the bear ate some of their food. The bear also went through the campers’ garbage and sniffed and pawed at their tent. The bear then left the site and sniffed and pawed at other tents, bear-proof dumpsters, and bear-proof food storage boxes, and dug through fire pits in other campsites in the campground.

Rangers responded and hazed the bear out of the campground, but the bear returned and re-entered the campground. Due to safety concerns for park visitors, the bear was shot and killed at approximately 9:00 p.m.

Park visitors are reminded to keep food, garbage, coolers and other attractants stored in hard-sided vehicles or bear-proof food storage boxes. This helps keep bears from becoming conditioned to human foods, and helps keep park visitors and their property safe.

Hikers in bear country are encouraged to travel in groups of three or more, carry bear pepper spray, make plenty of noise on the trail, and to be alert for the presence of bears. If a bear charges during a surprise encounter, stand your ground, do not run, and use your bear pepper spray.

Park regulations require that you to stay at least 100 yards away from black and grizzly bears at all times. The best defense against bear attacks is to stay a safe distance from bears and use your binoculars, spotting scope, or telephoto lens to get a closer look.

Bear sightings should be reported to the nearest visitor center or ranger station as soon as possible.

Atlanta, Georgia
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for Road Trips
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1. Re: Campground Bear Incident

So sad for our wildlife but yes all of us and especially campers need to be aware of park regulations.

Thanks for the info.

Moose, Wyoming
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for Wyoming, Jackson, Jackson Hole
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2. Re: Campground Bear Incident

Makes me feel sad for the bear. But my guess is that bear was previously fed by some other camper or campers, and that caused the behavior reported in this story that lead to his death. If you see anyone feeding wildlife, I'd encourage you to call it in to a park ranger immediately. Or you can do what I did several years ago, when I told a tourist who was about to throw food to a bear, "If you feed that bear, I'll break your arm." This had dissuasive effect when accompanied by the Wyoming stare.

Pittsburgh...
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3. Re: Campground Bear Incident

We had an incident at sheep eater cliffs a couple of weeks ago where we saw a woman and her grandson feeding marmots. I know marmots aren't the same thing as a bear but still it's wrong. My husband asked her to stop and she drawled at us "why don't y'all mind yall's business", while continuing to do it. It was very upsetting and I took her picture and a picture of their Tennessee license plate. We showed the ranger at mammoth but by this time I'm sure they were long gone and nothing came of it. I wish I had cell reception to reportt it sooner but even with Verizon we got nothing there. Anyway, I know it's not the same as feeding a dangerous animal like a bear but its seriously disturbing how people break the park rules so blatantly and frequently.

Billings, Montana
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for Yellowstone National Park
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4. Re: Campground Bear Incident

After we started having grizzly bears come within 75 feet of our tent numerous times (one with two cubs) we always have a can of bear spray on our picnic table at all times when we are eating. All food is put back into the back of my escape immediately after eating.

Last summer I put in a complaint about these campers that were right behind us at Bridge Bay. I also requested an immediate change to another campsite. In the three days we were there the campsite was never picked up. I should have gone to the Lake Ranger Station and filed a complaint with them and to this day I feel terrible that I didn't.

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This shows how close my tent was to their stuff. All this stuff was left out over night. Not they put themselves in jeopardy but they put every other person in the campground in jeopardy. They also put every animal, big or small, predator or prey, in jeopardy.

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Deb

fti
MN
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for Alaska
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5. Re: Campground Bear Incident

So unfortunate. I am used to Alaskan bear country where bears just dont associate humans with food. Very few bear-human encounters.

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6. Re: Campground Bear Incident

Very irrritating that an animal had to be put down. Considering we are the visitors to THEIR home. The last two years we went people were acting like its a zoo. Someone had their car totaled because of getting too close to a bison and a baby. We heard about that same bear wandering in canyon a couple days before we camped in Jloop and they are very accurate when u check in on what to do and what not to do (if u ever have gone camping its simple) even in madisons cg some people left their fire unattended AND all their food on a picnic table for two hours....very glad there are rangers checking up on people acting foolishly and putting all of our lives at risk . Not trying to sound mean but lots of these things can be prevented!

Cork, Ireland
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7. Re: Campground Bear Incident

This might be a stupid question, but I have heard of instances before were bears have been tranquilized and moved to a completely different area, is this the common way of dealing with the problem or would it be more normal for the animal to be destroyed?

It's very sad for the bear, all because stupid people in the past have fed him or left food available for him.

Philadelphia...
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8. Re: Campground Bear Incident

We had four adjoining cabins for 2 nights at Canyon last week and when checking in they advised that a black bear had been roaming around close to, and in, the cabin area and that we should be careful.

We found bear scat all around the area some just a few feet off the parking lot, but despite some of us being outside till 10:30 and others out early in the mornings (5-6 AM) but unfortunately, or maybe fortunately in this case, we never saw the bear. I guess it would be safe to assume it's the same bear.

One was fortunate enough to hear a wolf howling in the earl;y morn and loved it but after the second or third howl decided to go back into the cabin.

Spery, Iowa
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9. Re: Campground Bear Incident

ncmc, they do their best to scare the bear away from campgrounds, and depending on the circumstances, relocation may be an option, but this bear had proven to be unafraid of approaching humans. Destroying is the last resort, not the first choice. Best thing we can do now is make sure we personally do not do anything to endanger any more wildlife while visiting the park. That includes reporting violations when we see them. There have been several acts of vandalism, and dangerous acts of being off boardwalk in thermal areas as well this season, which should be reported if seen.

K S
Auburn, California
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10. Re: Campground Bear Incident

ncmc-my understanding is that if a bear has learned to associate people with food AND has shown that it has learned to return to an area, relocation may not work. Bears will travel great distances to get to food and rapidly lose their fear of people around easy food. It's probable that this bear had been hazed away previously and had already learned behaviors that made it a real danger. A real shame. I know that campers have been cited for improper food storage in the past (looks like in this instance the campers weren't doing anything wrong, though). I wish the NPS had the manpower to do more sweeps of campgrounds looking for food safety violations and would remove people from the park for it (after a first warning, of course).