WEST GLACIER, Mont. [September 27, 2021] – On September 23 at approximately 2 p.m., an injured black bear was discovered along Going-to-the-Sun Road two miles east of Rising Sun.
An initial investigation by the National Park Service indicated the bear suffered unsurvivable traumatic injuries from contact with a vehicle at approximately 1:40 p.m., September 23. Rangers, after consulting with the park’s wildlife biologist, euthanized the bear.
A field necropsy revealed a severely broken jaw, an injured foreleg and a potentially damaged ribcage and lung area. The male bear was estimated to be 2.5-5 years old and appeared to be in otherwise good health.
The visitor who hit the bear did not report the incident, so the circumstances of the collision are unknown. The location of the incident was in an area with vegetation close to the road, which could have obscured the bear’s movement onto the road and may have played a role.
While traveling in the park, it is important to remember that all roadways traverse wildlife habitat and speed limits should be observed for the safety of not only people, but wildlife as well.
Slower speeds allow drivers more time to react to the movements of wildlife that may be obscured from immediate view. If you have a motor vehicle incident in the park, report it to the nearest Ranger or Visitor Center to prevent further harm to other visitors who could happen upon the animal along the roadway or other wildlife who may come to scavenge on the carcass.
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