Wildlife officials are meeting to review grizzly bears’ protected status, particularly around the Yellowstone Park area.
Some areas of Yellowstone National Park are closed during the months of March, April, May and June due to bear activity.
This year, the number of grizzly bears that have been killed in and around Yellowstone National Park has decreased. So far, only 20 grizzly bears have been killed or removed from the park.
Officials are considering lifting the protected status of grizzly bears, especially in the Yellowstone Park area. State and Federal officials are meeting to review the grizzly bears’ status as “protected.” A decision is pending to determine whether the grizzly bears have recovered enough to remove their federally-protected status.
If the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lifts the protected status, limited hunting opportunities could become available.
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Grizzly bears have been listed as “threatened” for quite some time. Yet every year dozens of bears are killed as a result of conflicts with humans. Many other bears are captured and relocated out of the area. The U.S. Geological Survey reported that 56 grizzly bears were killed or removed in 2012 and 29 were killed or removed in 2013.
Grizzly bears are sometimes involved in attacks on livestock and occasionally humans. Once in a while, a hunter or hiker will shoot a grizzly bear in self defense.
It is estimated that there are over 750 grizzly bears in the Yellowstone area that includes parts of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.