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Natural Resources & Energy

Teton County Takes Up Illegal Wildlife Feeding After Feds Drop Case

National Digital Library of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service

It is illegal to feed wildlife like antelope, moose or bear in Teton County. Complaints can be filed through the county or the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently investigated a complaint that a resident was feeding wildlife in the Solitude subdivisions, near the Jackson Hole airport. That federal investigation came to a dead end earlier this year.

But Chris Neubecker, the director of the Teton County Planning and Building Services, said the investigation process reported by the Jackson Hole News and Guide found enough evidence of bears and moose feeding on grain on the property that the county has sent a warning to the property owner.

"[The property owner] has claimed that they're not feeding," said Neubecker. "They admit that they had been feeding in the past, but had said that they are no longer doing that. We're continuing to keep an eye on this case."

He said usually people realize it is not the right thing to do and stop feeding wildlife after the first warning.

"But I think there are a lot of people who have very emotional connections with these animals. And they feel that they are somehow their pets, or they're, they feel that they're doing something good for the animals, when in actuality they're doing something harmful for the animals," said Neubecker.

He said they will keep an eye on this case and, if feeding resumes, they could take the issue to court which could result with fines of up to $750 per day.

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