A sow grizzly bear and her two cubs were trapped and euthanized south of Byron on Thursday. Wyoming Game and Fish Department officials say it’s the first time the agency has captured a grizzly in Big Horn County in at least a half-century , Powell Tribune reports.
Byron “is way outside” the the core grizzly bear habitat known as the demographic monitoring area, said Dan Smith, Cody Regional Wildlife Supervisor for the department.
A sow grizzly bear peers out of a Wyoming Game and Fish Department trap on Thursday 25 October, south of Byron, Wyoming. The bear and its two cubs were euthanized later that night
“We have not had grizzly bears in this area of Big Horn County since well before grizzly bear recovery efforts began in the 1970s, but as grizzly populations continue to expand in distribution, bear sightings are occurring more and more in areas we would not normally expect to see them and in areas that are not considered suitable for bears,” Smith said in a statement. “Most of these areas are more susceptible to conflicts between humans and bears.”
According to POWELL TRIBUNE The three bears were initially spotted by a citizen’s remote trail camera, while they were feeding on a dead cow southwest of Byron, the Game and Fish says. The cow was located in a dead animal pit along the Shoshone River corridor on private land.
Kyle Leithead, an employee for Merit Energy Company for the past four years, discovered the bruins while on his maintenance route, just south of U.S. Highway 14-A.
“It’s not something I ever imagined I’d see,” Leithead said, adding, “The Game and Fish responded quickly and did a great job. Hats off to them “ he told to Powell Tribune.
The Game and Fish trapped the female with a snare late Wednesday, on land that’s leased to Merit Energy. The sow was euthanized Thursday afternoon, Smith said. The cubs, one female and one male, were captured and euthanized Thursday night.
Image credit: KYLE LEITHEAD via Powell Tribune