The FWP bear management team reported that a grizzly bear was euthanized in the North Fork area. This grizzly had made it a habit to hang out near homes and towns. This bear was reported to the bear management team by concerned citizens. This North Fork incident took place near Kalispell, Montana.
After canvassing the area the team set up a trap for the bear. As a result, on May 26th, the bear was captured by the team. After inspecting the animal it was found that the bear was old and in poor condition. Likewise, checking the bear’s teeth and aging the animal led FWP officials to believe that the old male was between 20 to 22 years old.
However, because the bear had grown comfortable around people and residences it was decided that the bear should be euthanized.
“This bear had grown comfortable around people, which is unnatural and unsafe for people and wildlife. The bear’s health condition was also poor due to its teeth and age. All of these factors created an increasing likelihood for potential conflict in an area where people live.” – Justine Vallieres, FWP Grizzly Bear Management Specialist
This incident has sparked the FWP to remind residents of the following:
- Bear spray is a highly effective, non-lethal bear deterrent. Carry EPA-approved bear spray and know how to use it.
- Grizzly bears can be deterred from areas near homes using USFWS guidelines for hazing grizzly bears. This helps reinforce bears’ fear of people.
- Additionally, notify your neighbors if you do observe a grizzly bear in the area to help make others aware.
- Likewise, always keep a safe distance from wildlife. Never approach a bear.
- Remove or secure food attractants. Bear-resistant containers and a properly constructed electrified fence are proven effective at deterring bears.