JACKSON — Jackson Hole’s first bear out of the den this year was confirmed late last week by a Grand Teton National Park ranger.
Photos of a bruin snapped by a visitor March 29 in the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway were likely that of a grizzly bear, although the ranger who reviewed the images was new to the area and couldn’t say with certainty.
“I bet you it was grizzly, but we can’t say for sure,” said Teton Park bear management specialist Kate Wilmot, who got the report from a colleague. “We usually get a bear sighting up that way this time of year.”
The bear was observed near the base of Huckleberry Mountain in the parkway, she said.
Other reports so far have been of bear tracks, not of actual animals. They’ve been spotted in places like the west shore of Jackson Lake as early as mid-March, Wilmot said.
Wyoming Game and Fish Department staffers in the Jackson area have not yet verified a bear out of the den within the agency’s jurisdiction outside of the national park.
Brief contributed by Wyoming News Exchange.