Volume 3, Number 19 - August 7, 2003
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Grizzlies continue cattle kills
This year is turning out to be one of the worst ever for grizzly bears killing cattle on Bridger-Teton National Forest grazing allotments in the Upper Green River region.
Mark Bruscino of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department said in a Tuesday morning interview that the unofficial tally of confirmed kills due to grizzlies now stands at 20 head, primarily calves belonging to various members of the Upper Green River Cattle Association.
The killing continued as the Examiner went to press last week, with wildlife officials setting snares at two fresh carcasses Friday night. The Saturday morning check found a small grizzly female with two cubs of the year at one site. Bruscino said there was no evidence that pointed to the small female being the culprit, so she was radio-collared and released on site, in compliance with federal guidelines.
"No evidence ... pointed to her," Bruscino said. "We are monitoring her."
Evidence found at the kills indicates a larger grizzly is responsible for the kills, and Saturday morning's check also revealed a big bear had managed to escape from a snare set on another carcass. Bruscino said the clamp on the snare had not been constructed properly, allowing the bear's escape.
On Monday, another calf kill was found in the Fish Creek Park area, and a culvert trap was set, with Tuesday morning's check revealing another grizzly bear was caught.
This adult male bear was caught by WG&F personnel on a freshly killed calf, Bruscino said. It was unmarked, so had no known history of depredations until now, and was in the process of being transplanted to an area of Park County that is adjacent to the Washakie Wilderness and Yellowstone National Park.
"It may be the culprit we're after," Bruscino said. "I hope so."
Wednesday morning, Bruscino reported that another fresh kill was discovered in the early morning, indicating that another grizzly is involved in cattle killing, and bringing the tally to an unofficial 21 kills.
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