Carcasses of at least 55 Yellowstone Bears have been found already this year.
U.S. Wildlife officials at Yellowstone National Park have noticed a troubling trend. The group has noticed an unusually high number of human-related deaths in the park’s grizzly population in 2016.
According to a Reuters report, as many as 55 grizzly deaths can be attributed to humans so far this year. Yellowstone officials believe the spike is largely due to the bears harming farmers’ livestock as well as competing with hunters for freshly harvested game.
The bears have seen a population boom in recent years in the park, so much so that the Obama administration recently suggested removing them from the endangered species list. As a matter of fact, numbers have grown so significantly that bordering states will soon open up hunting seasons. Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana all border the park. Each of these states have plans in place to open a bear season near the park in the near future.
Officials have tracked grizzly mortality rates for the past few years. 2013 and 2014 both saw 28 grizzly deaths. Park officials fear that the 2016 total will surpass the record set in 2015 of 61 deaths.