2 grizzlies found dead; one killed by car

September 1, 2018

Two more grizzly bears died recently, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

An 17-year-old female grizzly bear was killed after being hit by a vehicle on U.S. 2 between Marias Pass and East Glacier Aug. 23. The bear was wearing a GPS radio collar that was originally attached through a trend monitoring research project. The female was accompanied by a yearling bear. Yearlings have a higher survival rate than cubs when separated from their mothers, and no attempts were made to capture the yearling.

The grizzly bear was from the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, which is situated in northwestern Montana and includes Glacier National Park, parts of the Flathead and Blackfeet Indian Reservations, parts of five national forests, Bureau of Land Management lands and a significant amount of state and private lands.

The ecosystem is currently home to more than 1,000 grizzly bears.

Also, an adult male grizzly bear was found dead August 23 in Crow Creek near Ronan on the Flathead Indian Reservation. The cause of death is unknown. There were no initial indications that the bear was illegally killed.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks maintains a population monitoring program and follows protocols and management objectives that are designed to maintain a healthy grizzly bear population in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem. This includes tracking known mortalities, whether bears are killed or removed from the population for a variety of circumstances, and notifying the public.

Right now bears are actively seeking food sources before the winter denning season, and residents are urged to reduce or secure attractants.

FWP Region 1 has recently seen an uptick in reports of bears approaching food sources, such as fruit trees and garbage.

More safety information is available on the FWP website, fwp.mt.gov.

Call FWP regional offices to learn more about bears or to report bear activity. In northwest Montana, call (406) 752-5501.

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