Aug 31, 2012 3:46 PM by KPAX/KAJ Media Center
GREAT FALLS- State wildlife officials say they've euthanized one grizzly and relocated another in separate conflicts near Augusta on the Rocky Mountain Front.
A 7-year-old, 514-pound, male grizzly was euthanized Friday morning after wildlife officials captured it on a ranch southwest of Augusta. The bear had killed at least three calves over the past two weeks on the ranch, said Mike Madel, Fish, Wildlife and Parks bear management specialist.
"Although this was the first instance of this bear killing livestock," Madel said, "we have some flexibility to remove adult males. Plus there was a strong suspicion that he would continue to prey on calves."
This marks the third time this year on the Front an adult male grizzly bear has been removed from the population after a livestock depredation.
Madel helped capture and relocate a sub adult male grizzly that had broken into a ranch out building near Augusta to get at livestock grain feed on August 29th.
"This grizzly have been on the outskirts of Augusta for a couple of weeks but had not gotten into any trouble," Madel said.
It was the first time the bear, estimated at 3 to 4 years old and about 540 pounds, had a conflict with humans.
"We relocated it at the end of Pike Creek Road near Marias Pass on the Lewis and Clark National Forest," Madel said. "That's about 75 miles away."
The Sept. 1 opening of the big game archery season and the upland bird season has prompted FWP officials to remind hunters in bear country to be aware the animals are out and feeding.