Remote, motion-detecting trail cameras help FWP bear managers identify bears involved in a reported conflict, their sex, size and the number of individual bears present. Trail cameras also help identify any bears passing through an area but uninvolved in the conflict. For example, a radio-collared bear could be in conflict with chickens, but an on-site camera reveals it is an uncollared bear. Or, a landowner may report a grizzly getting into chicken feed, but a trail camera reveals it is a brown colored black bear. The trail cam videos below helped a FWP bear manager in northwest Montana identify bears involved in two separate conflicts in the same area.
One female grizzly bear, with two female cubs, tore into a camp trailer used to store horse grain on the east side of the Flathead Valley. Grizzly bears are very powerful and once they have access to high energy foods, like horse grain, they can break into barns, chicken coops, trailers, and even cabins for more. That is why it is so important to prevent conflicts with bears by properly securing food attractants. Bear managers also emphasize the benefits of bear resistant food storage to keep bears from learning about these foods in the first place.
This female was euthanized due to her level of food-conditioning. Managers fortunately found space for the two cubs at a zoo.
At the trailer
Getting into horse grain
A darker-colored female grizzly bear, with a male and a female cub, killed a pig on the east side of the Flathead Valley. Bear managers urge those raising chickens and pigs to use electric fencing.
This female was euthanized and the two cubs placed in a zoo. In most cases, it is difficult to find zoos or other facilities to take these bears.
Grizzly bear cub
Adult female grizzly
Grizzly bear cub
A subadult female grizzly bear near Swan Lake entered a barn to get horse grain.
This bear was captured and relocated near the Canadian border.
At trapping sight