GREAT FALLS — An adult female grizzly bear was euthanized on Tuesday after the bear and three cubs became food conditioned and broke into structures to obtain grain, according to a news release from Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.
FWP captured the bears in the Seeley-Swan Valley. In accordance with Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee guidelines, the adult female was euthanized due to food conditioning, which occurs when wildlife lose natural foraging habits.
Two of the cubs are being sent to the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone. FWP was not able to capture the third cub and it stopped showing up at the trap site. Traps were pulled from the field and the cub will be given an opportunity to survive on its own.
During late summer and early fall, bears are increasingly active and eating as much as they can to prepare for winter denning. FWP reminds homeowners to keep attractants secured. Attractants include garbage, pet and livestock food, birdfeeders, and fruit trees, but also include livestock, compost, gardens, outdoor food cookers, and beehives.
The best way to secure an attractant is to make it inaccessible to the animal by containing it within a secure hard-sided building (a structure with four-sided walls, roof and door). Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) certified bear-resistant containers are useful in preventing the bear from learning that garbage could become a food source.
If containment inside a secure structure is not practical, properly installed and maintained electric fencing is a very effective tool. Loud noise, such as banging pots and pans, using an air horn or your car alarm, or shouting, is also a simple yet effective short-term way to deter a bear. Other temporary and short-term deterrents include high decibel motion-activated alarms, sprinkler systems, motion lights and radios turned on at night.
For more information on grizzly bears, bear resistant containers, and food storage guidelines visit the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee website .