News & Features

Grizzly Euthanized in Glacier After Falling Onto Sun Road

Bear sustained significant trauma in 20-foot fall from overhanging cliff

Glacier National Park officials made the decision to euthanize a female grizzly bear on July 15 after the bear was discovered partially paralyzed from an apparent fall on Going-to-the-Sun Road.

The bear had sustained severe traumatic injuries, park rangers discovered, according to a press release from the park. She had apparently fallen about 20 feet onto the road near Rim Rock, about a mile west of Logan Pass; rangers discovered her at about 11:30 p.m.

Park rangers consulted with the park’s wildlife biologist, and then euthanized the bear. A follow-up necropsy showed the bear had significant trauma to its thoracic vertebrae, broken ribs, and a dislocated hip.

Initially, rangers thought the bear may have been hit by a car, but evidence at the scene showed she had slipped off an overhanging precipice and landed on her back.

The non-lactating female bear was estimated to be about 5 to 7 years old and otherwise in good health.

Park officials notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as required since the grizzly bear is listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, and informed Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks of the incident.