The Fate of Three Montana Grizzly Cubs Who Lost Their Mama
You've heard this before. Too much food-conditioned (and people-conditioned) behavior on the part of a large wild animal seldom ends well.
And in this case, there is the added sadness of three orphaned cubs. And only two of them have been recovered.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks tells us that a female grizzly bear was captured and euthanized after numerous conflicts with people in the Eureka area of Lincoln County. This after numerous reports pf the adult grizzly and her three cubs getting into buildings, cabins, chicken coops, and outdoor freezers in search of food sources.
These were not mom's first offenses. She was previously captured and moved after earlier conflicts with people in Lincoln County.
Montana FWP bear specialists captured the adult female and two of the cubs earlier this month. Reports indicate that they were "severely food conditioned." After consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Servce, the decision was made to euthanize the adult bear.
Montana FWP has been unable to capture the third cub. Fortunately, the other two cubs were transported to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone for temporary placement. Both cubs will be going to ZooMontana in Billings, a zoological/botanical garden, accredited arboretum and educational facility.
FWP defines food-conditioned bears as those that have sought and obtained unnatural foods, destroyed property, or displayed aggressive, non-defensive behavior toward humans. Once a bear has become food-conditioned, hazing is unlikely to be successful in reversing this type of behavior. And food-conditioned and habituated bears, such as the mother of the three cubs, are not relocated due to human safety concerns.
Here's wishing the two little ones well, and hoping that the third cub can be eventually tracked down before it's too late.
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