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The Wyoming Game and Fish Department put down a yearling black bear in Darby Canyon this week after a June 14 report led officials to the problem bear.

Mark Gocke, Game and Fish Public Information Officer said the bear was trapped by officials a little over 24 hours after the department received a report of a possible bear or mountain lion coming into a campsite and disturbing a camper while they slept.

Gocke and Teton Basin District Ranger Jay Pence said last week that a group of teenagers were camping just below the LDS Camp near the Wind Cave in Darby Canyon across the Wyoming border. Pence reported one of the teenagers was taken to Teton Valley Hospital after sustaining scratch marks from an animal attack while they lay inside their tent.

Pence said the campsite was littered with beer and food, all of which could have attracted an animal to the campsite. He said that a deer carcass was discovered near the campsite that looked like it had been killed by a mountain lion, but was being fed on by a black bear based on the bite marks.

Gocke said this week that the bear was blonde in color and a female. He added that the bear was clearly habituated to human food and was caught during the day – an unusual circumstance further reinforcing the fact that he bear was unafraid. Gocke said the teens first reported that the animal was a mountain lion, but could have mistaken the blonde hair of the bear for a lion.

“We do appreciate the person reporting the incident,” said Gocke. “Even though there were problems with the campsite, this bear could have been a problem for someone else.”

Pence said that the Forest Service issued “a handful” of citations stemming from this incident for the unkept campsite. The Teton Valley News submitted at Freedom of Information form for more information regarding the citations.

Pence reminded the public that keeping a clean camp is important this time of year. He said that during a recent trip to Teton Canyon he observed campers with open food containers, dog food and other yummy items that would invite a bear into a camp.


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