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Wildlife Groups Say Yellowstone Bears Still Need Protections

Courtesy: Terry Tollefsbol, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Courtesy: Terry Tollefsbol, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife advocates and a Montana Indian tribe are asking a U.S. court to restore protections for grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park so that trophy hunting of the fearsome animals would not be allowed.

The Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Humane Society and several conservation groups filed three lawsuits Tuesday and Wednesday in Montana challenging the government’s recent move to lift protections.

Idaho, Montana and Wyoming are planning limited public hunting of the region’s roughly 700 bears, although no hunts are expected this year.

Critics say there’s already too much pressure on the bear population as climate change impacts what the animals eat and conflicts with humans result in dozens being killed every year.

A separate challenge of the government’s decision was filed in July by Native Americans from seven states and Canada.

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