Advocates Fight To Keep Grizzly Bear 863 Alive In Wyoming
Hearing stories about wildlife interacting with humans isn't a new story, but the stories are becoming more common and the end result isn't always good for wildlife. Especially when talking about Grizzly Bears in Northwest Wyoming. Mama Grizzly Bear 863 (also known as Felicia) has been seen often with her cubs being viewed by tourists along Highway 26/287 east of Moran, WY is a target of a series of hazing efforts like loud noise, rubber bullets and dogs to keep the bear and cubs away from the roads and safe. There is a fear by wildlife managers at the U.S. Forest Service, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming Highway Patrol, and Wyoming Game & Fish Department that the bears will become more aggressive towards humans.
During tourist seasons, being able to see wildlife is always exciting for the adventure seekers. What the spectators don't understand is that they are putting the bears lives in jeopardy and some bears have to be euthanized to keep visitors safe in the future.
One group of wildlife advocates are fighting to save bears like Felicia. While bears inside the National Parks are protected, 863 and cubs are in National Forest lands and aren't usually subject to the same treatment and the bears in the National Parks. The group claims that the action of the bears isn't the cause of the disturbance on roadsides, but the action of tourists that is causing the concern. Social Media has lit up with #savefelicia trying to raise awareness to the issues concerning the hazing or killing of bears. There is actually a petition on Change.org that has nearly 35,000 signatures to ensure the bears are allowed to be bears.
Here is a video of Felicia (863) and her first cubs from last year.