A male grizzly bear was captured and euthanized this week in northwest Montana after it was reportedly approaching residences and walking through properties without any hesitation around people.
FWP personnel captured the bear on July 4 and euthanized it July 5 south of Eureka near Trego.
The bear was estimated to be four years old and weighed about 270 pounds.
Attempts to haze the animal with cracker shells were unsuccessful, as the bear tried multiple times to enter a shed that contained bio-fuel and even broke a window on one occasion.
The bear did not have any prior conflicts.
Due to the bear’s habituation, FWP made the decision to euthanize it in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and in accordance with Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee guidelines.
This incident demonstrates that wild animals may become habituated to people, posing a serious risk to public safety. When responding to a conflict involving bears, FWP follows guidelines that inform an appropriate action. These factors include the potential human safety threats, the intensity of the conflict and the bear’s behavior. Putting down an adult bear is always a last resort.
Northwest Montana is home to abundant populations of grizzly bears and black bears. Residents are asked to remove or secure food attractants such as garbage and bird feeders and bird seed. Chickens and livestock should be properly secured with electric fencing or inside a closed shed with a door. Recreationists are urged to “Be Bear Aware” and follow precautionary steps and tips to prevent conflicts.
An x-ray revealed more than 50 pellets were discovered inside the bear. Under federal law, it is illegal to shoot grizzly bears, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in northwest Montana.