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Big grizzly wanders into Montana Hutterite colony

Posted at 9:23 AM, Oct 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-19 11:23:38-04

VALIER – A 900-pound male grizzly bear that wandered into a garage on the Birch Creek Hutterite Colony west of Valier has been relocated.

The bear was captured on Wednesday and on Thursday it was taken to Pike Creek west of East Glacier on the Rocky Mountain Front.

“Members of the Colony tried to deter the bear from the residential area,” said Wesley Sarmento, a bear management specialist with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. “However, the bear ran into an open garage to escape from people.”

Colony members called Sarmento, who tranquilized the bear and relocated it. He estimated the bear to be about eight years old.

“Members of the Colony said the bear wasn’t causing any problems,” Sarmento said. “It just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

FWP said in a Facebook post that they disclose where bears are translocated for public safety, and because it is state law. They note that typically after a release, a bear will remain in the area for a couple weeks and then often return to their normal home range.

FWP says that relocations work best at solving certain issues – like a bear showing up near a home. While the bear is away it gives residents time to get attractants secured so the animal will be less likely to return to the areas near people.

FWP noted that it is “very unlikely” that this bear will return to the area near the Colony garage. They have no evidence that this bear obtained human food and expect this bear to avoid people and settlements in the future.

-David Sherman reporting for MTN News