POWELL, Wyo. (AP) — Wildlife officials say fewer grizzly bears have been euthanized this year in Yellowstone National Park compared to previous years.

The Powell Tribune reported Thursday that the U.S. Geological Survey reported nine grizzlies were euthanized in Wyoming this year, but the number could increase before the bears go into hibernation in December.

Officials say the Wyoming Game and Fish Department killed a record-high 32 grizzly bears in 2018, including 17 by mid-August last year.

Officials say grizzly bears are euthanized to manage conflicts at the park that spans across Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

Wildlife officials say three bears have also died in automobile collisions, two of them in Montana.

Officials say they encourage people in the region to carry some type of defense in case of an encounter.