Grizzly bears are awake and wasting no time finding their next meal. In the last four weeks, five Montana grizzly bears have killed at least 10 calves.
On April 13th a landowner shot and killed a grizzly bear, and the incident is still under investigation. Later that month, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) euthanized a sub-adult male on April 23rd in the Helmville Valley.
On May 1st, FWP euthanized another young male grizzly along the Sun River near Fort Shaw because of recent calf depredations. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services captured the 383-pound bear after it killed three registered black Angus calves and injured three additional calves. The bear was captured at the site of the depredations. In addition, five other calves in the area had gone missing within the last week.
Due to the significant amount of livestock depredations, FWP decided to euthanize the bears in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and in accordance with Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee guidelines.
Finally, on May 9th, a female grizzly and her yearling cub were captured on lower Dupuyer Creek. The pair were relocated on May 10th to dead horse creek on the coal creek state forest in the north fork of the Flathead watershed. The old female had a history of depredation. She had an incident with sheep depredation when she herself was a yearling. She has been fitted with an ear tag and satellite collar to ensure she doesn’t have any further conflicts.
One can only hope a grizzly bear hunt will be allowed soon so bears can be properly managed. However, an impending lawsuit from the Center for Biological Diversity shows no intent of delisting the grizzly until more are introduced across the west.
What do you think about the surge in livestock depredation?