On Wednesday, July 16, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks relocated an 8-year-old male grizzly bear responsible for killing a young cow in the Red Lodge area Sunday to the Upper Gallatin area north of Yellowstone National Park.
FWP assisted USDA-Wildlife Services in capturing the bear Tuesday in grassland habitat on private land between Red Lodge and Belfry.
After capture, the bear was immobilized to determine age, sex and if the bear had previously been captured or “marked”. The bear was identified as having been captured at 3-years-old for research purposes by Wyoming Game & Fish in 2009. It had no known previous conflict history. For that reason, it was decided by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and FWP to relocate the bear.
The bear was radio-collared and re-tagged to monitor its movements. If the bear gets into other conflicts it will most likely be captured again and removed from the population.
This is the second male grizzly bear captured in southern Montana this year due to livestock depredations. In the first case, a 9-year-old male was captured in May in the upper Paradise Valley. Numerous cattle depredations had occurred on a ranch in that area last fall, and began again as soon as cattle were brought back to the ranch in the spring. Those events were investigated by USDA-Wildlife Services and FWP. The bear in that case was captured and removed from the population.
Similar to bear movements seen on the eastern front of Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, Yellowstone bears are moving farther away from what was considered suitable occupied habitat as the grizzly population density increases and a recovered population exists.