Local Wildlife Officials Rescue Astray Canadian Caribou

By Beacon Staff

A radio-collared woodland caribou that wandered into northwestern Montana from British Columbia has been returned to Canada after some medical treatment.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists received a report Thursday that the radio collar from a caribou was emitting a “mortality signal” from the mountains south of Eureka. The female caribou was one of 19 from northern British Columbia that were released last month near Cranbrook, about 40 miles north of the U.S. border.

FWP spokesman John Fraley says biologists who traveled to the area by snowmobile found the caribou alive, but unable to stand.

A veterinarian in Eureka treated the caribou with a drug to counter the effects of tick paralysis.

The animal was returned to British Columbia.

Caribou were once native to Montana but are now considered very rare. Occasionally, a caribou wanders south of the Canadian border into Montana, FWP said.

FWP Wildlife Manager Jim Williams noted that it is common for some animals to wander after they are released into new habitat. Fortunately, this valuable animal was found alive and returned to wildlife managers in Canada, FWP said.

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