U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considering euthanizing grizzly sow Felicia

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Nikon_nerd
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:06 pm

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considering euthanizing grizzly sow Felicia

Post by Nikon_nerd »

https://buckrail.com/community-members- ... izzly-863/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nat ... 719876002/

One of Felicia's (e.g., Grizzly Bear 863) cubs was killed in 2019 by an aggressive male grizzly. After that, she stayed near the highway and the large clearings near Togwotee Pass (like many female grizzlies with small cubs who feel that being near humans will discourage male bears from coming around). Because she has become habituated to the roadside with new cubs, she attracted a lot of viewers that just happened to be passing by, who stopped on the highway to watch and photograph her. Because of all the attention and additional car traffic she attracted, the Wyoming Fish and Wildlife department management decided she was attracting too much attention and they didn't want to deal with the additional headaches of traffic management and crowd control, and therefore she was hazed aggressively to try to force her to retreat into the back country away from people and cars. Many believe the hazing was what caused her to be separated from her lone surviving cub Pepper for several weeks in June 2019.

Why can't other options be considered for a bear that is not causing any trouble other than attracting wildlife watchers and photographers, before hazing aggressively? What about installing traffic warning signs such as "frequent bear crossings" and reducing the speed limit like other areas with heavy wildlife crossing? What about use of volunteers to manage the people and control the traffic if the Wyoming Highway Patrol, and Wyoming Game & Fish Department don't have enough budget or staff to work the area? Volunteers are often used in Yellowstone for traffic and crowd control in areas where bears appear daily.

For those that would like a little more backstory on Felicia you can go here:

https://www.grizzlytimes.org/single-pos ... y-bear-mom

And here:

https://www.jhnewsandguide.com/news/env ... 9c4d0.html

And here:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=426
Last edited by Nikon_nerd on Fri Jun 18, 2021 7:39 am, edited 1 time in total.



karenandbill
Posts: 120
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:55 am

Re: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considering euthanizing grizzly sow Felicia

Post by karenandbill »

This is really disturbing but I'm not surprised. Wyoming Fish and Game uses every opportunity to kill bears, wolves or other predators. Why not get volunteers to control the traffic and reduce the speed limit to 45 over the pass? We have seen her several times and the traffic has always been off the road and not that many cars were stopped. Hazing her at this point is not going to work and might even make her become aggressive, which she has not been to this point. But this will give them their excuse to kill all three bears.

--Bill



Nikon_nerd
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:06 pm

Re: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considering euthanizing grizzly sow Felicia

Post by Nikon_nerd »

Update. Looks like euthanizing them is off the table for now.

https://buckrail.com/breaking-grizzly-8 ... ays-usfws/



Nikon_nerd
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:06 pm

Re: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considering euthanizing grizzly sow Felicia

Post by Nikon_nerd »

Another update to the Felicia situation. Has a lot of good background information if you need to get up to speed, also.

https://www.vangophotos.com/blog/2021/7 ... EhXl0NqBRE


Unfortunately, the bear brigade was not approved. So disappointing and frustrating the government agencies won't even attempt to consider a volunteer wildlife management unit, even with private funding, to manage the situation, traffic, and educate visitors.



karenandbill
Posts: 120
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:55 am

Re: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considering euthanizing grizzly sow Felicia

Post by karenandbill »

Thanks for the update. A very well-written article. We were through the pass a couple of weeks ago and the signage had changed. Instead of threatening citations, they were saying to use pullouts, keep bears wild, and stay in your car. That was some progress in my opinion.

A volunteer wildlife brigade seems like a much better solution than the hazing. I recognize the concerns. Having seen her 4 times over the last two years, 3 times there were tourists who were just stupid in their behavior. Each time they were getting way too close to get that close-up shot. But traffic was not really an issue. They should lower the speed limit to 45 mph and allow volunteers to help manage the people with a patrol car available for back-up if needed.

--Bill



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