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Bear-proof your camping food and save lives (yours and the bears’)

FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks shows a sow grizzly bear spotted near Camas in northwestern Montana. (Photo credit: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY — A bear that has tasted human food begins to crave the food, and then it becomes a nuisance animal that will most likely be euthanized. So if you go camping, for your safety and for that of these magnificent creatures, bear-proof your food. 

First of all, don’t do this

A judge has ordered an Idaho woman to pay more than $5,800 for trash that attracted a grizzly bear to her campsite in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, according to the Associated Press.

Wildlife officials had to tranquilize the bear and move it by boat elsewhere in the park with 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.

Other campers shot photos and videos of the bear rummaging through garbage and drinks left unattended at the campsite on June 13. The camper was a 50-year-old woman from Parma, Idaho, according to the statement and court documents. 

A bear can lose its fear of humans

Faith Jolly from the Division of Wildlife Resources told KSL Newsradio’s Debbie Dujanovic and guest host, Ethan Millard, that avoiding a hungry bear can help you avoid a hefty fine.


If the marauding bear invades another campsite hunting for human food, it will likely have to be put down as it now poses a danger to people, Jolly said.

“Once these bears become habituated to people and they (start) seeing campsites or other things as a food source, they lose their fear of people,” Jolley said.

They can become aggressive and become dangerous, and so a lot of times, they do end up having to be euthanized, unfortunately.” 

Jolly said nuisance bears that come down into neighborhoods in the foothills are relocated several times a year. This is especially true in Utah County’s Springville and Hobble Creek areas. 

“It’s kind of the repeat offender bears coming back to that area (that) start being more aggressive towards people. That’s unfortunately when it gets a little trickier and relocation usually is no longer an option,” she said.

Jolly said if you love the outdoors and wildlife, lock your food away while camping. Also, don’t store any food in a tent. These tips can help you avoid a dangerous or deadly situation for you and the bear.


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, a.s well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.  

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