After swimming across the Snake River, one of bear 399’s subadult offspring shakes off excess water on May 3, 2022. (Mark Gocke/Courtesy

Grizzly 1057 — the subadult offspring of famous grizzly mother 399 that wildlife officials killed last month — had eschewed its natural habitat and boldly sought human food as taught, a top wildlife official said.

Grizzly 1057 left Jackson Hole earlier this year after being weaned by its mother. It wandered some 35 miles to the Upper Green River Valley by early July when residents began to see it frequenting rural neighborhoods.

As it sought out its own territory to stake out a life, 1057 passed thousands of acres of backcountry and wilderness on the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

“That bear dispersed through a ton of great bear habitat kind of through the Gros Ventre [Range] — Upper  Green country,” said Dan Thompson, Wyoming Game and Fish large carnivore supervisor. “And then once it got into some human-occupied areas, it just started going from house to house.”

“[O]nce it got into some human-occupied areas, it just started going from house to house.”

Dan Thompson, Wyoming Game and Fish Department

Grizzly 1057 raided unsecured attractants among residences in the Kendall Valley of the Upper Green River, he said. Officials caught the bear in mid-July and killed it after it displayed “increasingly dangerous behavior” like climbing onto porches and showing no fear of the sound of gunfire.

Among the homes it frequented in Sublette County was one site that included what one neighbor described as a carcass dump, possibly including road-killed animals. Thompson referred to “one situation [involving] a lot of different types of attractant, basically.

“I don’t know that it was specific to road kills,” he told WyoFile about the site. “We worked pretty hard to get rid of [it].

“I don’t think it was drawn there for any reason,” he said of 1057. “There was nobody purposefully feeding the bear.”

A spokesman with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said his agency is on the case.

“We have had staff in the area working with some of the residents to educate them on potential food conflicts with bears,” spokesman Joe Szuszwalak wrote WyoFile in an email. “U.S. Fish and Wildlife does not have an investigation open at this time.”

Attractants

Thompson outlined the reasons for the decision to kill 1057. “Most of the scenarios, a majority of it, was this particular bear actively seeking food at residences,” he said.

The Fish and Wildlife Service cited “increasingly dangerous behavior” as a foundation for its authorization to kill 1057. Biologists assigned the number to it according to its capture collar fitted after incidents in Jackson Hole. Grizzlies remain on the list of threatened species protected by the Endangered Species Act.

Grizzly 399 and her four 2020 cubs of the year seen in Grand Teton National Park. (Thomas Mangelsen/Images of Nature)

“We’re not looking at just what happened in that Kendall Valley area since May,” Thompson said about the decision to kill 1057. “We’re looking at the last two and a half years of food rewards, habituation.”

Grizzly 1057 evolved from being habituated — or comfortable around humans — to become food-conditioned. That’s the point “where this bear was just actively seeking out food at people’s residences,” Thompson said.

That forced wildlife managers to do “what’s right for the sake of human safety,” he said.

“We can’t look away from the fact that these bears were taught to actively seek out human foods,” Thompson said.

Grizzly advocates call 1057’s mother — 399 — an ambassador grizzly or a rock-star bear because of the world-wide fan base it developed after raising several litters near the roadside in Grand Teton National Park. But last year 399 led its four latest offspring, including 1057, on a Jackson Hole walkabout. The family traversed neighborhoods, walked through downtown Jackson one night and obtained food rewards from at least 10 sites.

Wildlife officials followed the family and hazed it five times last summer after the five bears raided beehives and livestock feed.

Grizzly 399 “has always been habituated,” Thompson said. “But it had never been seeking out human foods until more recently. And that behavior was really taught to these offspring.

Bear-proof trash cans

Among the problems in Jackson Hole was that one resident in the central valley routinely, and for years, put out food for moose. Grizzly 399 discovered the cache. Distributing grain brought the attention of federal and state wildlife officials and warnings from them but no citations, according to an investigation by the Jackson Hole News&Guide.

Grizzly deaths resulting from food conditioning prompted a campaign for better local rules to secure unnatural bear attractants. “[I]t is beyond due time to require bear proof trash cans in Teton County,” wrote Savannah Rose in an online petition at Change.org.

She made her push after officials killed two grand-cubs of 399 that got food rewards in residential areas just south of Grand Teton National Park. Most of the rewards came from trash cans.

“We fear that world famous Grizzly 399’s cubs will face a similar fate if they are allowed to disperse into the same hostile environment full of unsecured trash if there are no bear proof can ordinances put in place,” Rose wrote.

She collected 75,199 signatures, according to Change.org. Teton County subsequently amended its land development regulations to require bear-resistant refuse and recycling containers and dumpsters.

Bear-proof trash cans are now required throughout Teton County, according to a regulation that went into effect July 1. The rule also requires bird feeders and other attractants to be out of bear reach.

The rule spawned a trash-can campaign by Jackson Hole Bear Solutions, which has distributed some 300 grizzly proof cans throughout the county in the last month or so. Cans cost just north of $300, but the nonprofit program provides some for free.

Activists founded the organization “to aid residents in complying with this requirement in a way that is easy and affordable,” the group says on its website. “We believe that Jackson should be a national epicenter for conflict prevention education and a coexistence model for other communities.”

Angus M. Thuermer Jr.

Angus M. Thuermer Jr. is the natural resources reporter for WyoFile. He is a veteran Wyoming reporter and editor with more than 35 years experience in Wyoming. Contact him at angus@wyofile.com or (307)...

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  1. The wrong people are responsible for the care of Wyomings’ wildlife, especially endangered grizzly bears and threatened wolves.

  2. These wildlife agencies use outdated science and models (based on public Democratic processes) and are highly partisan and political. They do this stuff because they feel “superior” in knowledge but also to “own the libs”..

  3. This is yet another outcome that was inevitable. This bears entire life had been nothing more than an unending harassment by spectators and photographers. They are the ones responsible for this bears demise. Not homeowners and surely not the game and fish. The antics and sheer stupidity that ensues when these bears are near a hiway is dumbfounded. Vloggers and social media users giving out locations and posting up to the minute videos is everywhere. There is a solution, though, that hopefully will come in the not too distant future. Grand Teton and Yellowstone need to resort to travel by tour bus only. That will keep the ability to stop anywhere and harass the wildlife non existent. Times are changing. And the stupid people who create these problems have ruined it for all.

  4. I agree that if food is left out in bins cans ,or garbage bags, Bears will seek it. Humans in Florida have taken acre upon acre of their territory
    And they need to eat to survive. If humans are intentionally leaving out food, it’s not the bears fault. The problem raises issues when a mother bear is seeking food and a human comes anywhere near the cubs.Several months ago, a bear with 2 cubs visited my neighbors yard for over an hour, eating oranges off a tree. People stayed away ! Dog walkers have been told to keep dogs on a leash. Dogs have been killed and that’s an issue. Bears here are not Grizzlies but they’re still BIG. Common Sense needs to prevail for all concerned!!!

  5. Wildlife makes decisions of what animals live or Died so should a Bear decide who they should Eat when human comes in contact with them, they didn’t invite them over for sacks and coffee , I feel wildlife should be left alone where they are living..,,🐻🐻🐻

  6. Maybe ppl should stop moving into wildlife areas. Instead they want the wildlife to leave their own areas. Disgusting that ppl try to play the role of God. That ppl believe they have the right to kill animals because they feel they are a danger. Until they are a danger back off!!!!

  7. Fish and Game is repulsive and their human decision to eradicate cubs from their earth is beyond words. Bears do as nature dictates they don’t have a free will. Fish and Game shame on you and how you live with yourself is beyond me.

  8. I use to live in Paradise CA. before the Paradise Campfire destroyed my house & our town. Black bears would come around a lot in my area, so what I did to keep them out of my trash was to freeze any leftover trash from food trash n my freezer & take it out on trash day around the time we had trash pick up. I never had any problems with the bears but my neighbors did with their trash.

  9. Again, Wildlife pays the price for what humans did. So the main human responsible in this story got multiple warnings but no fine’s in their part in habituating the Bear’s to humans and human provided food but the innocent Bears get Death my something is very wrong with our ” management of wildlife” it seems like the only thing humans can do is cause Harm and death.

  10. No. Wildlife fish and game, should NOT have killed 1057. So in other words, these animals in their habitat were tagged to be spotted and killed later. This is not good and I want it to stop immediately.

  11. If some residents can’t afford the cans maybe the county or the State could help supply them or possibly set up a Save the grizzly fund and offer a reward for each donation.
    Like hats , short sleeve t shirts front graphics only ,
    T shirt front and back graphics ( maybe a grizzly bear or head on left chest like 4 x5 ) and a caption under it save the Grizzly .
    On the back a Grizzly full size fishing a stream.
    And a two sided long sleeve
    T shirt.
    Hats 25.00 donation
    T shirt regular just front
    25.00
    short sleeve front and back graphics
    35.00 donation
    Long sleeve with front and back graphics
    45.00 donation
    Just an idea , it seems like the sites that offer some kind of return , do better than just asking for a donation .
    You could also have a contest with a nominal entry fee on what artist comes up with the best graphics and saying.
    I hope this helps.
    I would offer my time to help get it going .

  12. I’m SICKENED to hear about the MURDERING of theseBEAUTIFUL BEARS !
    YOU IGNORANT HUMANS – THIS IS THEIR THEY WE HERE FIRST
    THESE HUMANS WHO HAVE INVADED THEIR HOME
    NEED TO KNOW / LEARN HOW TO DISPOSE OF THE WASTE THAT ATTRACTING THEM etc.
    My Native American Ancestors SAY SHAME ON YOU YOU MAKE ME SICK!!!

  13. This is absolutely a failure of WGFD & ultimately FWS. Like it or not 399 and the quads are ambassadors of their species and are loved and followed worldwide. If 1057 was so habituated to humans he should have been sent to a sanctuary or zoo like Montana just did. Executing 1057 was without a doubt a prejudicial decision by Dan Thompson & Hilary Cooley. The fact that they are busying relocating several other grizzlies in the area for conflicts proves they could have given the newly emancipated grizzly a chance.1057 was still just trying to find his own territory and learning to fend for himself for the first time. Many sub adults find themselves in these situations. Why no hazing when this first started? The residents there had carcass piles and outdoor refrigerators easily available.Of coarse they will go for the easy meals. The fact that Dan Thompson didn’t intervene about this until after a full month of at least 13 food incidents not only put 1057 in danger but also the people he’s supposedly keeping safe. There is even a bear conflict technician for this area. What did they do? Nothing! Just straight to execution as planned by him. If they can not manage a population of 142 residents in Cora, WY how is he able to manage the entire state. Dan Thompson needs to be removed as well as Hilary Cooley who ultimately gave the green light on this.

  14. Sad the adorable cubs are doomed. Why not spay the mom 339 so there wont be any cubs to kill? Why not relocate all of them to remotewilderness. ?
    I hope the meat was donated to an animal shelter or reserve.

    1. Yes, I believe they are as well. It’s a pity that we all have to go someday. God placed animals on earth in parts, to roam, and love the earth. Why are these people violating God’s work.

  15. There has to be a different way to deal with animals that go into populated areas than shooting them. There is plenty of wilderness in Alaska. This makes me very angry

  16. Great. Don’t put him somewhere else like in NC or Tenn or Canada. “Hey bud wrong trash can” Bang you’re dead. We don’t even kill human murderers if humans. THATS JUST BS

  17. I also live in an area with wildlife, mountain lions, coyotes, bobcats, rattlesnakes… It’s a package deal for our choice on where we live. This was their land. We encroached. You don’t give a person the death penalty because they are coming close to committing a crime. His crime was his instinct, food survival.
    I am so angry at these decision makers. There should be consequences for actions.
    Just last week in here in Southern California a mountain lion got trapped in someone’s chicken coup. Sheriff deputies that arrived were instructed by Game warden to open cage. When they did they were prepared with bean bag shooters to scare it off.
    It worked. Can you blame the mountain lion for seeing the opportunity to eat?
    I’m glad it was handled properly here.

  18. What efforts are really being made to ensure that people living in grizzly country keep attractants secured? So many grizzlies are killed every year because of bird feeders, chicken coops, garbage and the lot which have not been properly locked up. Every time – just as with 1057 – the bear pays the price. The state should levy strict fines for failure to secure these things. For goodness sake, 1057 got into a fridge on someone’s porch! How is that secure?

    Stop making excuses, Dan, and work to harder to reduce food habituation in line with the legal requirements of the Endangered Species Act.

  19. Bears will be Bears and my feeling is these humans should be held accountable for not preventing these food rewards to be available, These poor bears are paying the ultimate price with their lives! Why aren’t these humans being held accountable? If you live in Bear territory they should be fined and held accountable! Stop killing our Bears.

  20. Blaming the grizzly because people in remote areas don’t secure their trash properly is a poor excuse to kill a grizzly! If you choose to live in grizzly territory, then be educated about how to do so!

    This young grizzly shouldn’t have been disposed of because of lazy human errors: It is “status quo” for authorities to “manage” wildlife by killing it off whenever they become “inconvenient”. Why would this young grizzly be afraid of gunfire? It had no fear of it because it was a brand-new sound! The grizzly had no idea what that sound meant or signified!

    This grizzly was an innocent, & it’s the people who “manage” wildlife & those who live in grizzly country with a blithe lack of concern for protecting grizzlies & other wildlife who are at fault here!

  21. Once predators aquire a taste bud programming there’s not much other they can do since people exist around them. If theres not adequate game for them then Livestock fall pray which have replaced the Buffalo’s do to early mismanagement days pioneer era.

  22. I think it’s a disgrace to kill endangered grizzly. They are a part of our majestic American heritage. Why did the simple minded decide to kill when they could use a helicopter to air lift the bear (s) to a safer bear sanctuary?

    1. Some commentary from people who watch too many ‘nature’ shows. Airlift by helicopter? Seriously? Grizzlies have enormous range and go wherever they WANT to go. Unfortunate series of events— but ALL anger should be directed at park visitors who litter or feed animals, or people who live in areas populated by bears yet leave food available for them.

      1. You are so right, but also anger should be directed at all communities abutting bearcountry that continue to fail to pass legislation with fines for people who do not secure their, trash, livestock, feed, chicken coops, etc.
        Jackson FINALLY did something. Amazing and inexcusable that it took so long.
        All the blathering about what the wildlife people should do, by people with little obvious knowledge of managing a large predator population that needs more land due to the success of the past few decades restoring the population.
        Focus your anger where it belongs, on the people and towns in the area, and yourselves, for not voting and demanding regulations are passed to expand their territories and keep the bears safer!

  23. Dan Thompson seems to be defending his decision on killing 1057. My question is why? If this was the right decision, why defend this action?
    Dan Thompson announced to the public that was not going to tolerate 399 offspring’s if they got into trouble, singling them out. Why?
    399 and her cubs never showed any aggressive behavior and are constantly around humans, it is how they grew up. It’s what they know.
    What is human reward? An invitation of a refrigerator on your front porch, sounds inviting to me.
    Why does a Wildlife manager wait 13x before intervening? Answer: A strong case to bring to the USFWS to kill it. Is this vendetta against 399? The tourists? Social Media? Money? Or questioning of how he is handling wildlife?

  24. This subject has been run into the ground. No more warnings. Tickets given out first time around. Make people come to court. Have Full time ranger going to peoples homes to investigate for food issues. If so write high price ticket. OR kill all the bears get it over with then people leaving food win. Bears lose sad.

  25. That’s messed up u can go killing animals cause it wanders into people’s area.relocate them if needed we keep building homes take to much woods then they wouldn’t be seen as much .but love food any where human food not human food.. or live with it as long as there not sick if they don’t run off then u relocate mom and cubs to a better safer area were they can find other food .

  26. Why were these bears not taken into the deeper part of the forest?
    They did this with some of the bears in Yellowstone.
    It’s not the bears fault for same of the poor choices people have made!
    Leave food out for the wild life durning the summer & they will go the easier way. Now we have lost more of God’s creater & they can’t be replace!

    I’m not always write, but a chance in the mountains is better than a bullet to the head.

    1. Have you ever seen what a bear wolf can do to a human believe me you don’t want to see it. They moved a hundred and nineteen black bears to Southeast Arkansas national wildlife refuge . As soon as spring come around all 119 of them bears went back to where they was captured on the White River where they were born and that’s their natural honing sense they’re going to stay where they were born there’s no change in their home since just in there natural order of life relocating a bear is not going to solve the problem

  27. As a 30 year Alaska resident who enjoys spending time in wildnerness grizzly country, I’m not at all surprised by this outcome; the killing of the cub. I’d be more surprised if the same fate doesn’t await the others. Why? First of all, lower-48 grizzly bear restoration has occurred in parks and other fragmented forest areas interspersed with homes, lodges, restaurants, farms, businesses, etc. These human-established grizzly safe havens are defined by a series of boundaries and surrounded by towns and major civilizations (Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks for example). Lower-48 park visitors, who live in mostly large cities and even rural areas, understandably might consider the western parks wild and remote. But who fairly expects bears to understand the concept of boundaries and stay within them? As grizzly populations rebound, they naturally expand their range and breach human-created boundaries. If recovery is successful, this will only get worse and more bears will stray and get into trouble. Look at the number of bears being killed by “authorities” every year. It continues to climb. By the way, here in Alaska, we don’t have boundary related problems. Our boundaries are mostly geographic; oceans and the Canada border. Bears here are not constrained by man-made borders. My last point is this. For several years I’ve received on-line pop up stories and YouTube videos showing large groups of people following, photographing, and otherwise chasing 399 and her cubs around. This is disturbing in my opinion. Moreover, such actions condition bears to the presence of humans which in turn leads to human bear conflict. These innocently intentioned harassers are a big part of the problem. They might think they’re respecting the bears by documenting their behavior and then sharing it on line but I’m sure the bears feel stressed and uncomfortable by it. Responders to this story convey bewilderment about the killing of this cub. From my perspective, the inevitability of this situation was blatantly obvious and is likely to repeat itself soon.

  28. Why did you not TRY to relocate him even once? That’s what I don’t understand. He was expendable it seems.

  29. I wonder if there mom did enough training with her cubs? The young bear obviously felt comfortable in neighborhoods which indicates to me she spent alot of time in congested human areas

  30. Instead of killing the bears couldn’t you put them in zoos or something. They’re endangered and killing healthy bears doesn’t make sense but I do understand the need for safety

    1. There not endangered theres just to many humans and humans have different opinions. About the only thing that could of been done with no gurrantees would be fly that bear to Alaska just to ease the human heart controversy. And the Bambi educated arent wrong for there feelings bu to feeling are not usually facts. That guy from Alaska understands.

  31. From france. Why kill those bears?? Their lives are as important to them, than ours to us! Relocate them, for god sake! I am so discussed with these people who clame to care for wildlife. They have no respect for other species!

  32. Hello, I’m retired medical technologist. I’ve also worked as a lab tech for the Sealife Center in Seward AK. I took bears and bear safety class thru UAF taught by Stephen Stringham in 2000. I would like to join this group. Thank you

  33. Why are you killing the bears? This is their territory, we humans are encroaching upon. This makes me so ashamed to be human, but more ashamed of Wyoming wildlife for killing the bear. We should be protecting them, not humans. I am so sad and disgusted.

    1. Well ,people kill animals because people are the “dominant “species,and the only species consumed with greed and profit.

  34. Meanwhile, millions of acres of prime grizzly habitat in Wyoming, NW Colorado, Idaho, western Montana and elsewhere are totally devoid of grizzly bears. There exists plenty of unused range to relcoate 1057 where the bear would never encounter a cabin , a cow, or a dumpster. . This is a sterling example of the extreme narrowmindedness of Wyoming grizzly management, and why the bear should remain under federal stewardship oblivious to state lines till those States quit being so territorially beholden to special interests. I am firmly in the camp that says the last entity you want managing endangered or threatened species is a State agency.

    We have yet to see any real grizzly bear recovery and sustainability in the Northern Rockies if this is all it takes to extirpate one…

  35. Poor Bears! I mean really, humans feeding bears so they can take a cute picture. Needs to be some punishment here, the bears were here first and stupid humans come along and can’t even put the food away and even actively set up feeding sites. Stupid is as stupid does. The Bears don’t stand a chance when it comes to dividing up Yellowstone and GR valley so they have a place to roam. The future doesn’t look too bright for Bears and it is all because of too much human contact.

    1. Maybe humans should stop acting as if they are the only ones living in their territory. It was their world long before humans came along. Kill kill kill is humans answer to everything. Sad world we’re living in.

      1. Rich Hamilton understands. You can’t line roads and take pictures of bears with out conditioning bears to humans. People that do this are part of the problem. Same as the people that feed them. No difference.

        If you want more grizzlies in their natural habitat look at where you live. Grizzlies occupied most States and should be reintroduced to these areas. This would give problem bears a place to go.

        Wilderness areas are just that, wilderness. No vehicles allowed including aircraft except when grandfathered in. Very few spots.

        We have far more grizzlies than people realize, I’ve had them on my property with no rewards for being there. She left me alone I left her alone. She fed mostly on gut piles from hunters. Lucky no issues in my area. Later she moved to a different area and had to be relocated.

        Montana put out a offer to all Western states to send them bears, not one state responded. You out of staters need to be campaigning your elected officials to bring them back to your state. Don’t forget to include wolves. Please show us how much you really care and make a place in your area for them. Don’t be all talk.

        1. Animals doing what’s mother nature programed them to do . It’s us humans invading their home grounds and push them out no need to kill them . Move them to remote areas . N C Smith