Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Grizzly Bears in Wyoming and Idaho will remain protected from trophy hunters.

The circuit court affirmed a federal court’s 2018 ruling that the Trump administration illegally stripped Endangered Species Act protections from Yellowstone’s grizzly bears.

“This is a tremendous victory for all who cherish Yellowstone’s grizzly bears and for those who have worked to ensure that they are protected under the Endangered Species Act,” said Andrea Zaccardi, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity in a statement.

She adds that “Grizzlies still have a long way to go before recovery. Hunting these beautiful animals around America’s most treasured national park should never again be an option.”

Grizzlies became protected in the Yellowstone region under the Endangered Species Act in 1975 after their numbers dropped to less than 150.

But, thanks to habitat protection laws, poaching crackdowns, and hunting bans, there are well over 700 grizzlies roaming the region today.

Maintaining populations of large predators (like grizzlies) is key to a balanced, healthy ecosystem. 

Plus, what’s cuter than baby bears? Just make sure to always keep your distance!