BILLINGS — State wildlife officials said a young female bear was trapped and euthanized north of Red Lodge on June 23 after it broke into a house looking for food.
Despite the homeowners’ efforts to bear-proof their property, the bear was able to pry open a window and enter the house, according to a new release from Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.
The people were not home when the bear entered. When they returned, they called FWP, who trapped and euthanized the bear. The news release did not state whether it was a black bear or grizzly bear.
When bears enter homes, FWP will euthanize them if possible, the news release states. This type of bear behavior is dangerous to humans and is unnatural for bears.
Red Lodge-area residents have reported seeing other bears around town and in nearby subdivisions and ranches. FWP bear specialists expect the lack of spring moisture could affect berry crops, leading both black and grizzly bears to look for easy food sources near homes. If those bears find nothing to eat around homes and businesses, they will move elsewhere.
The incident serves as a reminder to people who live in bear country to take every opportunity to bear-proof their properties. That includes putting all trash in bear-proof containers and keeping all property free of anything that can attract bears who are looking for food.
Residents can avoid conflicts by storing all garbage cans in a locked building until immediately before garbage trucks arrive, storing barbecue grills, pet food, horse pellets and livestock feed in a locked building. Home and business owners can remove all bird feeders and clean up apples, berries and other potential food sources. Bear-proofing also includes thoroughly cleaning decks and patios around barbecue areas to remove odors from previous cooking.
- Bear breaks into Montana hotel room (September 2019)