Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks euthanized a male grizzly bear after it had approached numerous residences near Trego, south of Eureka, and had become “very habituated to people.”
The 273-pound bear was captured on July 4 and destroyed July 5. It was estimated to be 4 years old.
According to a press release, the animal had been walking near residences and through properties without hesitation around people, and tried to enter a shed containing bio-fuel on more than one occasion. Attempts to haze the bear with cracker shells were unsuccessful. The bear was euthanized in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and in accordance with Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee guidelines.
The grizzly was originally caught on June 18 near Fortine as part of a Fish, Wildlife and Parks monitoring project. After the bear was euthanized, X-rays revealed the grizzly had been shot with bird shot in its rear and side, with more than 50 pellets discovered inside the bear. Under federal law, it is illegal to shoot grizzly bears, which are listed as a threatened species in Northwest Montana.
Fish, Wildlife and Parks reminds residents that food attractants, such as garbage and bird feeders, should be removed or secured, and chicken and other livestock should be kept within electric fencing or a closed shed to reduce interactions with bears.
For more information on how to “Be Bear Aware” in Northwest Montana, click here.