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Grizzly Bear Euthanized after History of Returning to Residences in Search of Food
By Toby Trigger


           Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) euthanized a grizzly bear on Thursday, Sept. 1. The bear had a history of accessing unsecured attractants at homes sites and eventually began breaking into structures over the past month, in search of food.

            The 240-pound sub-adult male grizzly bear was originally captured in the Basin Creek area northwest of Boulder, MT on August 16 after returning to a private residence several times looking for food and causing property damage.  FWP relocated the bear to a remote area northwest of Lincoln, MT in the upper Blackfoot Valley in hopes that it would return to natural food sources and stay away from residences.

            However, on August 29, the bear returned to home sites west of Lincoln and stayed in the area for several days, and in some occasions, very close to homes and human activity.  The grizzly attempted to break into a horse trailer and successfully pulled a box of grain out of a shed at another home.

            FWP and the US Fish and Wildlife Service decided to remove this grizzly bear from the population because of the degree of food conditioning. 

            “We had hoped this bear would stay away from homes after we relocated it to a remote spot,” says Region 2 FWP Bear Management Specialist, James Jonkel. “But, sadly, this bear was very habituated to food sources found around homes, and had to be removed in the interest of public safety.”

            Jonkel says that some grizzly bears are staying in the valley bottom this time of year to feed on any remaining berries. Residents should pick fruit from trees as soon as possible and also make sure other attractants such as garbage, pet food, and bird feeders are not available.