Posted: Jul 25, 2012 2:03 PM by KPAX News Staff
MISSOULA- Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials say they captured a grizzly bear last week near Lincoln that they feel had become too comfortable grazing near homes and FWP crews relocated the bear to the North Fork of the Flathead on July 22nd.
FWP Bear Management Specialist Jamie Jonkel says that the bear was mostly eating clover but did get into some bird seed, one bag of garbage and several hundred pounds of water-damaged winter wheat that was on a property on 7-Up Ranch Lane.
Jonkel added that the bear did not have a long history of getting into these backyard food attractants, so crews decided to identify it with an ear tag and collar and relocate it to a remote part of northwest Montana. Jonkel says that crews hope the bear will regain focus on natural food sources and not return to backyards in search of food.
"Right now bears are busy looking for berries and as they do, they are visiting the valleys near our homes and roadways. Unfortunately, sometimes they find easier backyard food sources along the way, so as a homeowner, it is really important to keep these things secured," Jonkel noted.
Jonkel says that people should keep garbage stored inside stout buildings or in a bear-resistant container until the day of collection, take down bird feeders until December, keep livestock and pet food indoors when not in use, and make sure chickens and feed are in a secure building or surrounded by an electric fence.
Fruit trees will also become a major bear attractant as summer turns to fall, and homeowners should harvest fruit as soon as it ripens.