Sow Black Bear Euthanized and Cubs Relocated After Being Fed by Visitors in Grand Teton National Park

   10.15.18

Park officials faced a difficult situation to euthanize a sow black bear and have her cubs relocated to Michigan after visitors blatantly ignored the “Do Not Feed Wildlife” signs that are displayed at Grand Teton National Park.

An unfortunate situation in Grand Teton National Park unfolded recently, after two visitors illegally fed fruit to three black bears. The visitors were observed giving food rewards to the bears from their cars as they drove through the park.

“Maximum penalty for feeding park wildlife is a $5,000 fine and up to six months in jail,” a press release states.

The bears, a sow and two cubs, then went on to make contact with several other vehicles hoping someone else would break the rules too.

Because the bears developed a comfort with humans, “and, most importantly, behavior that associated humans with food, posing an unacceptable risk to public safety,” the three bears have since been captured and removed from the park.

The sow, which park officials believe was approximately 4-5 years old, had to be euthanized because NPS felt she wouldn’t be a good fit at a zoo. The cubs on the other hand, have been relocated to Oswald Bear Ranch in Newberry, Michigan. “The facility provides educational opportunities about bears and information about how to protect their natural environment,” according to the news release.

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