U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Partners Urge Responsible Grizzly Bear Viewing in Togwotee Pass Area in Wyoming

Press Release
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Partners Urge Responsible Grizzly Bear Viewing in Togwotee Pass Area in Wyoming

MISSOULA — For the past four summers, many people have viewed and photographed grizzly bears near U.S. Highway 26/287 between Dubois and Moran Junction in the Togwotee Pass area in Wyoming. A female grizzly bear, known as “863” by wildlife managers and “Felicia” by public observers, and her two cubs have become habituated to the roadside along Highway 26/287. As more people have become aware of these bears, it has created unsafe conditions for people and wildlife. The public’s help is needed to ensure the continued safety of these bears and people passing through the area.

As part of continuing efforts by the Service and our partners to educate and encourage the public to stay safe and help keep grizzly bears wild (see: As Grizzly Bears Emerge from Dens, USFWS Urges Public to Stay Safe and Keep Bears Wild and Multi-agency Effort to Maintain Safety of Grizzly Bears and People) the Service again reminds residents and visitors that approaching, feeding, or otherwise disturbing grizzly bears not only poses a significant threat to humans and bears but is also a federal offense under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  

Approaching, disturbing, or feeding bears, intentionally or accidentally, is extremely dangerous to both humans and bears. These actions are likely to habituate animals to human development and create dangerous human conditioned behavior. When this happens, bears can become aggressive and threaten human safety. Hazing, relocation, or euthanasia of habituated bears by wildlife managers may be needed to protect human safety.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and other partners are unified in our approach and committed to ensuring safe conditions for people and wildlife. To achieve this goal, we need your help. Please remember to:

  • Never approach bears; always remain at least 100 yards (300 feet) away, or about the length of a football field
  • Practice ethical wildlife viewing by remaining a safe distance and never disturbing natural behaviors
  • Never feed, leave food for, or make food accessible to bears
  • Obey traffic signs, laws, and regulations
  • Drive carefully and slowly, watch for wildlife on and near highways and roadsides

Stopping along the roadside to view bears can create dangerous driving conditions. It is unlawful to stop or park along the highway except in an emergency or at designated pull-off areas, such as scenic overlooks.

Additional grizzly bear safety information is available from the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee for residents, hunters, hikers/campers, farmers/ranchers, and wildlife watchers.