MOOSE, Wyo. (AP) — A judge has ordered an Idaho woman to pay over $5,800 for leaving trash out that attracted a grizzly bear to her campsite in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park.
Wildlife officials had to tranquilize the bear and move it by boat elsewhere in the park in the hope that tasting human food won’t make the animal a recurring danger to people, the U.S. attorney’s office for Wyoming said Friday.
Officials warned the bear might have to be killed if it’s involved in a similar problem again.
“Irresponsible behaviors have consequences and many times it is the wildlife that pays the ultimate price,” Grand Teton Superintendent Chip Jenkins said in the statement.
Other campers shot photos and video of the bear rummaging through garbage and drinks left unattended June 13 at the campsite by a 50-year-old woman from Parma, Idaho, according to the statement and court documents.
Signs at the campground warned campers to store food in vehicles or outdoor lockers to avoid attracting bears, the statement said.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Carman in Mammoth Hot Springs convicted the woman of improper food storage, a misdemeanor. The restitution he ordered Tuesday would cover the cost of relocating and having to use a GPS collar to track the bear, the statement said.
More than 700 grizzlies roam the Yellowstone region of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. Outside Alaska, grizzlies are federally protected as a threatened species.