POWELL, Wyo. – Both conflicts with and deaths of grizzly bears are down in the Yellowstone region this year from Wyoming to Idaho, but they’re not out of danger yet.
This fall, bears will be preparing to hibernate and wildlife officials are ready to intervene if there are confrontations with humans.
Wildlife officials said the availability of more food is reducing bear and human interactions.
So far this year, there have been 28 known grizzly deaths in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. In 2015, there were 61 known grizzly deaths, the Powell Tribune reported.
“Keep in mind that we have a lot of time between now and bears going to dens, and we anticipate further conflicts between bears and humans this fall,” said Dan Thompson, statewide supervisor of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s large carnivore management section in Lander.
Luke Ellsbury, Game and Fish large carnivore biologist in Cody, said there are a lot of pine nuts, good berry supplies and cutworm moths for the bears to feed on. There are also a lot of chokeberries and rose hips.
Officials also warn bears are getting fat for winter and they may not realize humans are around until confronted.
“We may not be having as many conflicts, but that doesn’t mean we want the number to go up,” Ellsbury said.
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