Montana News

Sep 19, 2012 7:28 PM by KRTV

Grizzly bear near Red Lodge killed, cub being held

A female grizzly bear and her cub, who have been killing cattle southeast of Red Lodge since July, were captured this week in a joint effort between Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and USDA Wildlife Services.

FWP wildlife biologist Shawn Stewart says that officials confirmed that the grizzly killed six cows and calves on a ranch in the Bear Creek Basin southeast of Red Lodge over the summer, and is suspected of killing four additional cows.

The five-year-old, 360-pound female was captured and tagged in 2008 as a yearling in Wyoming, just south of the Montana border, when her mother was caught killing cattle.

Because of the bear's history of depredation, officials determined that there is no place in the northern Yellowstone ecosystem where she could safely be released, Stewart said.

As a result, the female was euthanized.

The cub is being held by FWP while they search for a suitable zoo that will take it.

Stewart says that because the cub's mother and grandmother had a history of depredation, it is unlikely to be released into the wild.

The bears were trapped southeast of Red Lodge in a rolling sagebrush pasture on private land that traditionally is not considered grizzly habitat.

Biologists first noticed the bear and confirmed reports of depredation in the Bear Creek Basin on July 15, Stewart said. They have been trying to capture the bear since.

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