A grizzly bear cub orphaned after its mother and two siblings were killed in a vehicle collision on U.S. Highway 93 south of Ronan was euthanized today after wildlife officials were unable to find a certified facility for it to live.
The male cub was about 7 months old and weighed 34 pounds.
Bear biologists with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes discovered the cub after his family unit was killed by a sedan on July 27.
Tribal bear biologists, in consultation with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, searched for a certified grizzly bear facility to place the cub. After 11 days no certified facility was identified with the capacity to take this grizzly bear cub.
Orphan cubs of the year are unable to survive without their mother, and are typically captured and held temporarily at the Montana Wild Rehabilitation Center until a suitable long term facility is located. Montana Wild did not have the capacity to take this cub.
On Aug. 9, the grizzly bear cub was euthanized. This action is consistent with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Wildlife Management Programs Grizzly Bear Management Plan.
“We had hoped to find a facility to take the grizzly bear cub, but sadly, there are none available at this time and the cub would not have survived back in the wild without its mother,” Stacy Courville, CSKT bear biologist, stated in a press release.
This year already marks the highest number of grizzly bear automobile mortalities documented in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem in any single year.
So far this year, 27 grizzly bears have been removed from the North Continental Divide Ecosystem’s population, 13 of which are classified as removals due to “vehicle collisions.” Nine of those bears were killed in collisions, while three are orphaned cubs that have been rehomed and a fourth is the euthanized cub.