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Montana News

Food-conditioned cubs of famous grizzly bear trapped and collared

Grizzly bear track.
Jim Peaco (PD)
/
National Park Service

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Wildlife managers in northwestern Wyoming have put tracking collars on two of four cubs belonging to a well-known grizzly bear that has been raiding human sources of food.

Wildlife watchers have been familiar with Grizzly No. 399 for years, following her movements and offspring closely. Lately the grizzly and her current litter of cubs have run into trouble getting into garbage, apiaries and animal feed in the Jackson area.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service and other agencies on Saturday put tracking collars on two of No. 399's yearling cubs. They trapped three of the four cubs and released one without putting a collar on it, the Fish and Wildlife Service said in a statement Sunday.

The collaring is a “preventive step” meant to help the Fish and Wildlife Service address future problems involving grizzly No. 399 and her cubs, the agency's acting regional director, Matt Hogan, said in the statement.

The statement urged people living in grizzly country to store garbage in bear-resistant containers, keep other potential food inaccessible to bears, keep bird feeders at least 10 feet (3 meters) off the ground and not plant fruit trees.

Grizzlies in the Yellowstone region of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho are protected as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Between 700 and 1,000 live in the region, up from about 100 half a century ago.