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FWP investigates report of a bear sighting near Great Falls

sulphur springs
Posted at 11:10 PM, Apr 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-28 13:04:09-04

(UPDATE, APRIL 28) FWP said in a news release that after investigating the area, officials found no evidence of either a bear or a carcass.

FWP noted that people should always take precautions when recreating outdoors in areas where bears may be present.

(1st REPORT, APRIL 27) Officials at Giant Springs State Park in Great Falls said on Tuesday that they are investigating a report of a bear sitting on a carcass. They said in a news release that people should avoid the area from Morony Dam to the Sulphur Springs trail as they conduct their investigation.

The area is several miles northeast of Giant Springs. They do not yet know if it is a grizzly bear or black bear, but urge people to be vigilant if they are in the area. We will update you if we get more information.

FWP says that all bears are potentially dangerous, and offers the following advice:

Preventing a conflict is easier than dealing with one.

  • Bear spray is a highly effective, non-lethal bear deterrent. Carry EPA-approved bear spray and know how to use it.
  • Never feed wildlife, especially bears. Bears that become food conditioned lose their natural foraging behavior and pose a threat to human safety. And it is illegal to feed bears in Montana.
  • Know your bears. It is important to know the difference between grizzly bears and black bears, whether you are hunting or hiking.
  • Always keep a safe distance from wildlife. Never intentionally get close to a bear.
  • A properly constructed electrified fence is both safe for people, livestock and pets, and has proven effective at deterring bears from human-related resources such as beehives, garbage or small livestock.
  • Follow the best practices listed below.

Best practices for safely exploring the outdoors

  • Stay alert and look for bear activity, especially where visibility or hearing is limited (woods, bushy areas, streams).
  • Travel in a group and keep members together (especially kids).
  • Make noise whenever possible to avoid surprising a bear, especially where visibility or hearing is limited.
  • Carry bear spray close at hand and know how to use it.
  • Avoid traveling at night, dawn or dusk.
  • Avoid carcass sites and scavenger concentrations.