CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming is seeing more grizzly bears moving outside their established habitat in and around Yellowstone National Park, causing more conflicts with humans.

Dan Thompson of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department says as the bears extend their range it becomes more difficult to avoid conflicts between bears and humans.

In 2016, Wyoming recorded 223 cases of conflicts between grizzly bears and humans — by far the highest number among the three states in the Yellowstone ecosystem. Montana had 118, and Idaho just two last year.

Wildlife advocates says grizzlies should be able to roam suitable forest and public land areas surrounding their current habitat.

Federal protection of the bears was lifted earlier this year and management of the species was turned over to Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

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