Grizzly Bear Cub Struck and Killed on Highway 93

Bear mortality the latest in a surge of deaths involving hungry bears on reservation highways

By Beacon Staff

A grizzly bear cub struck and killed by a car near Ronan is the third grizzly to die on the Flathead Indian Reservation this year, and the latest in a string of highway mortalities on western Montana highways.

Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe wildlife biologists report the yearling grizzly was hit near the scenic turnout off U.S. Highway 93 south of Ronan. A passing motorist discovered the bear, a 100-pound male, along the side of the road last week and reported the discovery to the tribe.

Stacy Courville, of the Tribal Wildlife Management Program, said bear mortalities along the Highway 93 corridor through the Flathead Indian Reservation have been a persistent problem this fall, and will likely continue until the hungry bruins den up for the winter.

“This has been a difficult year for bears and will likely continue to be difficult for bears until the snow flies,” Courville said.

There have been at least 15 bears struck and killed along highways on the reservation since Sept. 1, including the grizzly bear cub, according to Courville. The other bear mortalities have involved black bears.

The collisions have occurred on the reservation, primarily on Highway 93, but also on Highway 35 and Highway 200.

Biologists said many of the deaths are due to an increase in bear activity at lower elevations as they search for food in drought conditions.

For more information on living with bears contact the Tribal Wildlife Management Program or Germaine White at 675-2700.

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