Grizzly Bears

A grizzly bear roams on July 6, 2011, near Beaver Lake in Yellowstone National Park.

Jim Urquhart

Biologists killed a bear in Yellowstone National Park after the immature grizzly was involved in repeated conflicts with humans, the park announced Thursday.

National Park Service biologists captured and killed the bear on Sept. 8 near Heart Lake in the southern part of the park. They had set traps for it a week earlier after the male grizzly’s latest encounter with people.

The bear’s bold behavior toward humans dated back two years, the park said in the announcement. In 2015, Wyoming Game and Fish personnel captured and tagged the bear, and then relocated it to the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.

But one year later, the bear began entering campsites in the Heart Lake area. It destroyed backpackers’ tents and sleeping bags.

Park Service staff tried changing the bear’s dangerous behavior through the use of electric decoy tents, electric food sacks and by hazing the bear with bean bag rounds, rubber bullets and cracker shells, the Park Service said. Those efforts all failed.

The bear was spotted around Heart Lake area campsites this year, and on Aug. 26, the grizzly forced three backpackers out of their campsite and ate all of their food. That prompted biologists to set traps that ultimately led to the animal’s capture.

Park officials noted the incident highlights the danger of allowing bears to obtain human food, which often leads them to become aggressive.

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Joshua Wolfson joined the Star-Tribune in 2007, covering crime and health before taking over the arts section in 2013. He also served as managing editor before being named editor in June 2017. He lives in Casper with his wife and their two kids.

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