Grizzly bears may be spreading southward

Tuesday , March 18, 2014 - 1:35 PM


LANDER, Wyo. -- The second grizzly bear in two years has been spotted near Lander, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

On May 21, a hunter caught a picture of the grizzly bear on his trail camera northwest of Lander. Game and Fish officials verified it is a grizzly bear.

Last year, a hunter's trail camera caught a grizzly bear June 15 west of Lander in the Sinks Canyon area. It was the farthest south confirmed grizzly sighting in recent history on the east side of the Wind River Range.

Game and Fish officials caution as people head into the mountains to remember to keep all food and other attractants such as soda, garbage and dog food away from bears. Anyone living, recreating or visiting bear country could encounter a bear at any time.

Anyone camping in bear country should follow these rules from the Game and Fish Department:

Choose a campsite free of fresh bear signs: scat, diggings or tracks. Keep a clean camp. Food and odors attract bears. Store food, garbage and other bear attractants at least 100 yards from your sleeping area.

Cook at least 100 yards away from your sleeping area. Do not sleep in the clothes that you wore while cooking or handling fish or game.

Remove or pack everything out of the camp site. Don't burn or bury garbage. Bears will dig it up. Coolers, backpacks, wooden boxes and tents are not bear resistant. Do not leave food or other bear attractants in open vehicles at trailheads, campgrounds or along forest roads. Bear-resistant storage containers are a good method for storing food and other attractants. They can be purchased at many outdoor shops or in some cases may be rented at outdoor shops and U.S. Forest Service offices. Use bear-resistant trash receptacles and food storage lockers provided in campgrounds. Clean barbecue grills and store them so they are unavailable to bears. If possible, leave pets at home. If you do take your pet into bear country keep it under control at all times. If you encounter a bear, report it immediately to your local Game and Fish personnel or Forest Service office.

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