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The DAILY DIRT - The nitty and the gritty of outdoor news

Spray A Captive Bear, Go To Jail

Jackson Hole judge sentences guide to two days in jail, a fine, and community service for pepper-spraying a captive black bear

Animal lovers, get ready for your blood to boil: Back in October, 27-year-old Jackson Hole hunting, fishing, and float trip guide Tyler Steele emptied a can of pepper spray on a 177-lb. male black bear caught in a culvert trap. Grand Teton NP officials placed the trap to capture the bear after it had been investigating nearby cabins and a lodge.

But his crime didn't go unpunished: Federal Magistrate Jim Lubing accepted Steele’s guilty plea to animal cruelty and sentenced him to two days in jail, two years of unsupervised probation, 40 hours of animal-related community service and a $750 fine, and $250 in restitution to the Grand Teton National Park Wildlife Fund. 

He'll also get a substance abuse evaluation, since his best excuse was "I was under the influence of alcohol." To be fair, he expressed regret: "I think it was a cruel thing to do, your honor. It was one of the worst decisions I’ve ever made. I let a lot of people down.”

Unfortunately, park service managers decided the habituated bear was too much of a danger to humans, and it had to be put down.

Consider yourself lucky to be spending only two days in jail, Mr. Steele: I know a certain bear who wouldn't have let you off so easily.

—Ted Alvarez

via JHNews and Guide

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Joe
Feb 15, 2011

I can't believe what I am reading? I'm not condoning what this guide did, but believe his punishment is extreme. The bear getting a dose of pepper spray would probably keep it from coming within 100 mi of a human again. So why kill the bear? I feel sorry for the guide not the bear!

Joe
Feb 15, 2011

I can't believe what I am reading? I'm not condoning what this guide did, but believe his punishment is extreme. The bear getting a dose of pepper spray would probably keep it from coming within 100 mi of a human again. So why kill the bear? I feel sorry for the guide not the bear!

Natalie
Feb 15, 2011

It was a good punishment for Tyler, he deserved what he was sentenced. The bear unfortunatly got the wrong end both ways. Not only did he get sprayed and treated cruely but he also had to be put down. Lifes hard that way I guess.

LVS
Feb 15, 2011

OMG they decided to put the bear down and the criminal only got TWO DAYS!!!! This is wrong. When jeld captive, I hope someone unloads a can of pepper spray on this guy--the entire two days. You would think someone in his position would be smarter than that. The judge was too lenient.

Stephen
Feb 14, 2011

Put the guy down and let the bear go free...

Anon
Feb 14, 2011

So, it's okay to kill the bear, but not to pepper spray it.

mountainpup
Feb 14, 2011

What a scum bag. I sure hope he lost his job.

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