Problem Bear in the Dayton Area Euthanized
Black bear trapped and relocated in in the Sheridan Region early summer 2019. Photo courtesy of WGFD.
An adult male black bear was euthanized Monday after continually getting into trash in the Dayton area.
According to a Sept. 17 press release from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD), the bear was first reported near Scott Park Sept. 9 after it had gotten into a resident’s trash. The next day, the bear reportedly got into someone else’s trash two blocks away.
As sightings and reports continued, traps were set for the bear, but were unsuccessful.
“Residents were very willing to put trash and other attractants away when we told them a bear was in town, but we are behind the ball at that point,” said Dayton Game Warden Dustin Shorma. “We have bears in the town of Dayton every year so this is not an unusual occurrence. Rather than waiting for one to show up and have conflicts, we hope folks will get in the habit of practicing good bear-proofing habits from April to December every year.”
On Sunday, Sept. 15, the bear was reported walking down Smith Street in Dayton around 10:30 p.m. Authorities were unable to locate the bear at that time. But, around 12:30 a.m., another sighting was reported and WGFD personnel located the animal in an unattached garage near a residence.
“Often bears will move through an area but not stay, due to their reluctance to be near humans. But this bear stayed in or near Dayton for over a week because there were multiple places where garbage was accessible to it,” said Shorma.
Trapping and relocation is the preferred option so the bear is removed from an area before the unnatural behavior becomes engrained. In this case however, the decision was made to put the bear down because of its willingness to linger in town and get into trash. If a bear is repeatedly rewarded with food items while near humans, according to the release, it begins to associate people with food and management options become limited.