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Big Sky residents recognize importance of bear-proof trash cans after recent grizzly euthanization

Earlier this month in Big Sky, a Grizzly Bear was euthanized after repeatedly seeking out trash and other unsecured attractants on residents' property.
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Posted at 6:12 PM, Aug 14, 2023

Earlier this month in Big Sky, a Grizzly Bear was euthanized after repeatedly seeking out trash and other unsecured attractants on residents' property. Here in Big Sky, people know how important securing their trash is to keep bears alive.

Hannah Martin lives in Big Sky and says she does her best to ensure any unsecured attractants are out of an animal's reach.

"We leave our trash in our garage in covered cans and we have a grill outside, but we always change the oil tray and don't leave any grill grease or oil out," said Martin, "I think it's sad that this bear got something that was a reward to it and continued to go back for it. And that's no fault of its own. It was an animal."

Morgan Jacobsen with Fish, Wildlife and Parks says the bear was euthanized and not relocated because no matter what precautions were taken to secure any trash, the bear still came back.

"If we relocated the bear, we'd just be creating a problem somewhere else where the bear would continue to look for food in garbage cans and things like that," said Jacobsen.

Jacobsen assures that euthanization like this is preventable.

"Really an unfortunate outcome," said Jacobsen, "It's a preventable outcome because, you know, all we have to do is secure attractants so that bears don't get access to them. And then, you know, most often they just continue to move on and they look for food in healthier ways."

Martin believes the use of secured bear-proof trash cans is a must, and she sees them around her neighborhood.

"I do absolutely think bear-proof trash cans are necessary. I know that they have them at the beach here," said Martin.

She says it's up to us to keep bears alive and healthy.

"I know there's a lot of food around. We have food accessible all over the property here," said Martin, "And, you know, at a minimum, making sure that the food is not something that the bears can get to easily. Seems like, I don't know, just a no pun intended, 'bear' minimum thing that we can do."

Related:
FWP euthanizes food conditioned grizzly bear in Big Sky