Grizzly Bear Euthanized After Searching for Food Near Homes
The following information is based on a release by Montana FWP:
According to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP), officials euthanized a male grizzly bear, Thursday, after it repeatedly broke into outbuildings and dumpsters, most recently in the Seeley Lake and Woodworth areas.
FWP bear management specialist, Jamie Jonkel, said the bear was exhibiting extreme food-conditioned behavior. Once bears become conditioned to attractants like garbage it is hard to break those behavior patterns, and they often remain in the area, near homes and places where people frequent, becoming bolder and more aggressive.
“If bears are able to find uncontained attractants like garbage, grain and even birdseed, then they tend to stay in the area looking for more and it is extremely hard to break that behavior pattern,” Jonkel said.
This sub-adult male grizzly bear was first captured and then relocated the animal last October. FWP relocated the bear to a remote area in the lower Blackfoot Valley hoping that it would stay away from populated areas and return to natural food sources.
This spring, however, the grizzly traveled to the Seeley Lake area where it found an uncontained garbage trailer. From there, the young bear continued to break into garages, trailers and outbuildings in search of grain, garbage and other food, and spent a lot of time near homes and recreation areas, including Placid Lake, Clearwater Junction and Ovando.
FWP captured the bear Wednesday night and made the decision to euthanize it in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and in accordance with Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee guidelines.
Montana FWP contributed to this report.