Wyoming’s Game and Fish Department Cody Supervisor said three orphaned grizzly cubs have a good chance to survive.
The cubs of the year were found after an off duty Wyoming Game Warden shot and killed their mother October 25th.
The incident happened in the Shoshone National Forest off the Chief Joseph Highway northwest of Cody. Game warden Chris Queen told investigators he shot the grizzly sow when she charged him as he returned to his horses after hunting.
The Game and Fish Regional Supervisor in the Cody office, Dan Smith, said he saw the three cubs the day of the incident. He said they appeared healthy, so the Game and Fish Department will watch for them and leave them alone.
He said the cubs will probably den together while they hibernate this winter, and have a good chance of survival.
Smith explained, “The Interagency Grizzly Bear study team has done some work in the past. They tracked 13 orphaned or abandoned cubs of the year. The same age as these, or maybe a little younger. And of those 13 cubs, nine of them survived to be yearlings, so that’s 69%. And some of those went on to be full adults.”
Smith said it would have been hard to trap the cubs, because the incident happened miles away from the nearest road.
He said since the cubs were in good health, Game and Fish wanted to give them a chance to survive.