Black Bear Escapes from Montana WILD in Helena
By Jackalope Jordan


Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is looking for a black bear that escaped from the Montana WILD rehabilitation center in Helena on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

The small female bear disappeared somewhere between 6 p.m. on Tuesday and 8 a.m. on Wednesday. She was discovered missing during a routine check, a FWP news release said.

The 3 to 4-year-old bear weighs about 60 pounds and is dark brown. She has a white ear tag with the number 3135.

According to the news release:

After notifying city and county law enforcement agencies, FWP wardens, staff and volunteers searched the premise including Spring Meadow Lake State Park but found no sign. Wardens continue to search for the bear in the general vicinity. Kessler Elementary School has been notified. The search will continue until the bear is found.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks takes extra precaution during the rehabilitation process to not habituate wild animals to humans. Therefore, people can expect this bear to be wild and skittish.

The bear was brought to Montana WILD in February after it was found in an emaciated state with more than 200 porcupine quills in its mouth. Before the bear’s escape, it was doing well and was scheduled to be released into the wild this spring.

The bear escaped through a chain-link fence in one of the holding enclosures used to house many bears over the years.

If you see the bear, please call 911 or FWP Warden Sgt. Justin Hawkaluk at 406-439-5768.

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