(Lander, Wyo.) – In July, Wyoming Game & Fish Large Carnivore personnel were involved with captures and damage verifications involving mountain lions, wolves, black bears, and grizzly bears. The public is always curious “why” these animals kill livestock; the answer is multi-faceted.
First, environmental conditions and natural foods/prey availability play a large role in what kind of human-carnivore conflicts are seen annually. As densities of carnivores and “potential conflicts.” (In the form of humans, livestock, and unsecured attractants) increase on a landscape, so does the likelyhood of an actual conflict of occurring.
Second, expanding grizzly bear populations are causing conflicts in areas the Department has never seen before. Some carnivores become chronic offenders. Bears that receive multiple food rewards are intelligent enough to figure out how to get additional sustenance if food/attractants are not adequately secured.
Finally, some animals just become depredators of livestock as a way of life. After these animals are given the benefit of the doubt and a wealth of techniques are used to dissuade their behavior, when conflicts persist often these animals are removed from the population.
For all these reasons, the Large Carnivore Section has worked closely with people who live and recreate throughout Wyoming to proactively reduce conflicts and promote a Bear-wise Wyoming.
–Provided by Wyoming Game & Fish Department