Grizzly Bear Photographed in Big Snowy Mountains in Montana

Bear is first grizzly sighted in the central Montana mountain range

By Associated Press

BILLINGS — Wildlife officials in Montana have confirmed the presence of a grizzly bear in the Big Snowy Mountains, a first for the region.

The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks said the adult bear was photographed last Friday by a landowner who set up the camera next to a dead cow carcass, The Billings Gazette reported Tuesday. The bear did not kill the cow.

Department officials said the closest grizzly bears had come to the Central Montana island mountain range prior to last week was in 2017 when two male bears were euthanized after they killed livestock west of Stanford.

The photographs are the latest signs of the animals searching for new habitat outside of wildlands along the Rocky Mountain Front and Yellowstone National Park, officials said. The sightings also serve as a reminder to practice bear awareness and take safety precautions before entering the wilderness.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has advised landowners to reduce the risk of bear encounters and attacks by erecting electric fencing around pastures, pens and corrals and reduce attractants such as pet food, garbage and other potential food sources.

Officials encourage residents and visitors to report bear sightings and encounters.