News & Updates

Adult Bear Euthanized and Cubs Relocated After Being Fed by Visitors

Dana Watts - April 14, 2019

The saying goes that, “a fed bear is a dead bear.” And, unfortunately, this recently proved true for a female black bear in search of food for her cubs in Grand Teton National Park.

Last fall, two visitors to the national park were observed feeding fruit to three black bears from separate vehicles. The bears—a mom and two cubs—received several food rewards and made contact with numerous cars along the road.

Feeding wildlife in a national park… presents severe risks to the animal and to humans. Human carelessness doesn’t just endanger humans, it can result in an animal’s death.”— GOPAUL NOOJIBAIL, GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT

Due to the bears’ comfort with humans, and the associated risks to the public, park managers made the tough call to capture and remove the bears from the park. The mother, not being a good candidate for a zoo or educational facility, was put down—a tragic example of the consequences that can arise when people are reckless with food around wildlife.

With the right awareness of Leave No Trace principles, like how to store food and respect wildlife, this bear could have been saved. Let’s give wildlife their best chance at survival. Make a tax-deductible donation to Leave No Trace today to fuel education that helps save wild animals by teaching people the skills and techniques needed to respect them.

Your generous support is appreciated and will be put to good use on Leave No Trace solutions that reduce risks to wildlife.

Thank you,
Dana Watts
Executive Director

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