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Euthanized Grizzly Had History of Conflicts

Fish & Wildlife - Region 3

Wed Oct 08 14:01:39 MDT 2014

An adult grizzly bear was euthanized Tuesday at Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ state laboratory in Bozeman in response to its history of conflict and poor physical condition. The bear, a 28-year-old male, had been captured in the Jardine area of southern Park County Monday after attempting to break into a building that housed tack and horse grain.

The bear was identified by tattoos and a micro-chip as one that had a capture record dating back to 1988 when it was first captured along with its mother In Idaho. In 1989, the bear was captured again in Idaho after documented livestock conflicts. However, after spending most of its life since in Yellowstone National Park, the bear (known to researchers as Bear #155) was not involved in any other management conflict actions until the incident this week. 

In this most recent incident, the bear was trying to get to horse grain that was stored in a bear-resistant container inside a storage building. The site was investigated and a culvert trap was set late Monday afternoon.

Given the property damage conflict, the bear’s old age, and its physical condition, it was decided by FWP and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the bear from the population.

According to FWP bear specialist Kevin Frey, most grizzlies surviving to old age die from natural causes. However he adds, “Occasionally these bears can end up in conflict situations near people while attempting to obtain easier food sources.”

Frey confirms this is the second management removal in southern Montana this year. A male bear was removed in early May due to livestock depredations north of Gardiner.