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2 grizzly bears found dead in separate incidents

Posted at 12:07 PM, Aug 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-31 14:15:52-04

Grizzly Bear Dies in Vehicle Collision Near Marias Pass

An adult female grizzly bear was killed after being hit by a vehicle on U.S. Highway 2 between Marias Pass and East Glacier. The vehicle accident occurred on the evening of August 23, 2018. The bear was wearing a GPS radio collar that was originally attached through a trend monitoring research project. The female was 17 years old and was accompanied by a yearling bear. Yearlings have a higher survival rate than cubs when separated from their mothers, and no attempts were made to capture the yearling.

Drivers are reminded to always maintain awareness for wildlife crossing roads. Wildlife, including bears, are more active early in the morning and in the evenings.

The grizzly bear was from the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, which is situated in northwestern Montana, and includes Glacier National Park, parts of the Flathead and Blackfeet Indian Reservations, parts of five national forests, Bureau of Land Management lands, and a significant amount of state and private lands.

The NCDE is currently home to more than 1,000 grizzly bears. Montana is bear country. Bears are particularly active in springtime and fall. Residents are asked to please secure food attractants around their properties to avoid conflicts. Recreationists are urged to “Be Bear Aware” and follow precautionary steps and tips to prevent conflicts.

Grizzly Bear Discovered Dead in Crow Creek Near Ronan

An adult male grizzly bear was found dead in Crow Creek near Ronan on the Flathead Indian Reservation. The cause of death is unknown. There were no initial indications that the bear was illegally killed.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks maintains a population monitoring program and follows protocols and management objectives that are designed to maintain a healthy grizzly bear population in the NCDE. This includes tracking known mortalities, whether bears are killed or removed from the population for a variety of circumstances, and notifying the public.

Right now bears are actively seeking food sources before the winter denning season, and residents are urged to reduce or secure attractants. FWP Region 1 has recently seen an uptick in reports of bears approaching food sources, such as fruit trees and garbage.

With bow hunting and upland game bird seasons opening September 1, FWP said in a press release that slow-moving, quiet or game-calling, scented and camouflaged hunters will soon be sharing the landscape with the state’s even stealthier bears that may be stalking similar prey.

FWP advises that hunters:

  • carry bear spray, be prepared and know how to use it
  • hunt with a partner and let someone else know your plans
  • get harvested big game out of the woods quickly
  • upon returning to a site where harvested game is left unattended, study the site at a distance for any movement or changes and signal your approach by making plenty of noise
  • never attempt to frighten or haze a bear from a carcass — – contact FWP if a bear has consumed a carcass or covered it with debris rendering it unsalvageable.

FWP notes that grizzly bear attacks are rare and usually happen due to surprise encounters, where the bear is startled, then charges out of fear.