Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks officials were asking people who live near Ashley Lake in the Kalispell area to quit baiting bears after a woman died Thursday from an black bear attack that happened over the weekend.
Barbara Paschke, 85, died at Kalispell Regional Medical Center on Thursday morning. She was attacked Sunday when family members reported that a bear had entered the woman’s home and left through a window.
Fish Wildlife and Parks officials have determined that Paschke had been feeding the bears on her property. Two food-habituated bears were euthanized on Paschke’s property after the attack, but they were not believed to be the attacking bear. The bears that were killed were found with millet and sunflower seeds in their gut, which indicates that someone other than Paschke was feeding the creatures.
Wildlife officers have reminded people that they can be charged with hampering an investigation for feeding the bears. They also point out that because bears loose the will to hunt for themselves after becoming habituated to food and often become agressive, “fed bears are dead bears.”
People with bear problems can contact Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks for immediate assistance or if intereted in a long-term solution Montanans in certain part of the state can contact Defenders of Wildlife about cost-sharing programs to install electric fences that keep grizzly bears away from attractants. For more information contact
Russ Talmo at (406) 728-8800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.