GREAT FALLS — There have been several grizzly bear sightings in and around Choteau and Augusta recently.
Chris Hindoien, the mayor of Choteau, posted on Facebook on Saturday:
I have been in contact with Chad White of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks this morning concerning the young female grizzly that was in town. There are a number of pictures out in social media showing her near the City Park.
This a young collared female, who was last located SE of Choteau about 2:30 am. She was then spotted in the Park and was turned around at the Dutton Highway and 3 Ave NE about 8:30 this morning.
Teton Sheriff and FWP folks hazed her down Spring Creek and through the Rodeo Grounds and again out of town to the SE. She was pushed well out of town again to the SE.
It is important to know that this bear was collared for research purposes and while she has been seen in and around the outskirts of our community and now inside our community, she has had no documented conflicts with humans or livestock.
We understand the emotions that this brings out in people both good and bad. Please allow for Chad White and the FWP folks to do their work and keep us #bearaware.
The Augusta Chamber of Commerce posted on Thursday:
On May 17th a resident of Augusta along Elk Creek south of town walked to her shed for a shovel. She looked up to see two grizzly bears charging toward her from approximately 85-100 yards. Her 3 dogs ran after the bears until they were called off.
Additional sightings of bears in the area of Augusta have already been reported to officials. 4 bears were seen together by the airstrip south of Augusta along highway 287 on April 27th. 1 grizzly bear was seen along Elk Creek near Lovers Lane bridge on May 1st. Several other grizzly bears have been seen recently along Highway 21 between Augusta and Simms indicating that bears are moving downstream along the Sun River and Elk Creek near Augusta.
Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks continues working with communities and agriculture producers to address problems and avoid bear conflicts. To report a sighting, conflict, or for assistance securing attractants, contact bear management specialists Chad White at 788-4755 or Wesley Sarmento at 450-1097. Visit the FWP "Bear Aware" page for more information.
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- More grizzly bears popping up on the prairie
- Grizzly euthanized after attack in Pondera County
- FWP captures grizzlies that got into grain near Shelby