Earlier this week Game and Fish personnel verified through remote camera pictures a grizzly bear in the southern Wyoming Range, northeast of Viva Naughton Reservoir. The pictures were obtained by a private individual who reported them to the local Game Warden. Game and Fish verified the authenticity of the pictures and confirmed the presence of a grizzly bear through tracks and hair samples where the pictures were taken.
This is the furthest south verified location of a grizzly bear since well before recovery efforts began in the 1970s. The location is approximately 65 miles south of the Demographic Monitoring Area (DMA) which is the area considered suitable for the long term viability of grizzly bears by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is further evidence of a recovered and growing grizzly bear population.
The grizzly bear was unmarked and not known to be involved in any conflicts; the pictures and track size are indicative of a subadult bear. Game and Fish will continue to monitor the situation and wants to stress the importance of reporting any conflicts with large carnivores immediately to local Game and Fish personnel. Hair samples were obtained at the site for further analysis and comparisons with the grizzly bear population genetic database for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
For more information on bear safety and being “Bear Aware”, please visit our Bear Wise Wyoming website. The website offers insight into recreating and living in areas inhabited by black and grizzly bears and other large carnivores.