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Yellowstone Grizzly Bear

A grizzly bear cub searches for fallen fruit beneath an apple tree a few miles from the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park on Sept. 25, 2013, in Gardiner, Mont. Eight grizzly bears have been killed in Park County in recent weeks.

CODY (WNE) — Wyoming hunters and game wardens killed eight bears in Park County alone in the past week and a half due to potentially dangerous human interactions.

If Wyoming had been permitted to carry out its planned hunt of the Greater Yellowstone grizzly in September, up to 11 grizzlies could have been harvested in the region.

A recent federal court decision returning the bears to Endangered Species Act protection meant the Wyoming Game and Fish Department had to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before six of the bears were euthanized.

The same court ruling spiked a scheduled Wyoming grizzly hunt as an off-shoot of the long-running debate over whether or not the bear is a recovered species.

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Dan Smith, Game and Fish Cody regional supervisor, characterized this stretch of conflicts as “very busy,” but not a record for the department.

At this time of year grizzlies are roaming over the landscape seeking to pack on pounds for winter hibernation, so the chances of running across people are higher.

Smith described these bears as “human habituated.”

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