Game and Fish warns vacationers of bear risks

May 25, 2012

It’s Memorial Day Weekend, which means National Parks and forests in the state are gearing up for a flood of tourists. But in northwest Wyoming, the Game and Fish Department is urging visitors to be Bear aware while enjoying the outdoors.

Jackson Game and Fish Spokesman Mark Gocke says people should hike in groups, when possible, and make a lot of noise to alert wildlife of their presence. Gocke says some bears seem to ignore visitors, but Gocke warns visitors never to approach a bear, no matter how harmless it seems.

“They are wild animals, and they can be unpredictable,” Gocke said. “And when you encroach on a wild animal’s personal space, they’re going to defend it.”

Gocke advises campers to lock food in their cars or outdoor storage boxes, because bears that receive food-rewards for encounters with humans are more dangerous.