MISSOULA – Missoula parents and students are being advised to keep an eye out for wildlife.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials say they are is seeing a shift of wildlife activity in the lower elevations including populated urban areas.
Missoula County Public Schools recently sent out an email recommending that parents or adults accompany young students to and from bus stops.
Missoula residents are also being asked to be diligent about containing attractants to help keep animals away from homes and neighborhoods.
FWP officials say they are seeing an increase in wildlife activity as temperatures cool as bears, deer and mountain lions are heading to lower levels searching for food and stocking up for the winter months.
Folks living in the Rattlesnake as well as in Missoula’s South Hills should be especially aware of wildlife activity. FWP suggests cleaning up any bear attractants around your home.
FWP spokeswoman Vivica Crowser told MTN News that children should be made aware of the increased wildlife activity.
“The first thing to do when you’re heading out with your kids to the bus stop in the morning is [to] routinely remind them that wildlife are out and go through those safety reminders with your kids,” Crowser advised.
“Have them travel together if you’re in an area where there is a lot of wildlife activity, especially on the earlier bus routes it’s a good idea to accompany them,” Crowser added.
Missoula Bears reports on their website that grizzly bears and mountain lions have recently been reported in the Rattlesnake, Seeley Lake and Potomac areas.
Additionally, multiple black bears have been getting into garbage in the Lolo and Seeley Lake areas as well as reports of folks seeing bears on the trails near Pineview Park in the Rattlesnake, according to Missoula Bears.
-information from Russ Thomas included in this report.