NewsMontana and Regional News


Grizzly bear euthanized near Augusta for killing calves

The male grizzly was 24 years old
Posted at 10:40 AM, Aug 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-07 12:47:02-04

  • A grizzly bear was euthanized Monday near Augusta after killing several calves.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks euthanized the adult, male grizzly southwest of Augusta after it was seen feeding on calves.

Bear specialist Mike Madel said the 24-year-old bear was one of the oldest he's ever seen. Madel captured and marked the grizzly in 1998.

The bear had relocated to the Sun River Wildlife Management Area on the Rocky Mountain Front and had not caused any conflicts since then, according to a press release.

Although the bear currently weighed 551 pounds, its teeth were in poor shape, and overall the animal was not in good condition.

“It had several broken molars with abscesses and it’s canine teeth were worn down,” Madel stated. “And it had signs of arthritis. It was on the downhill slide.”

The bear was captured by federal Wildlife Services.

FWP euthanized it in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and in accordance with Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee guidelines due to the livestock depredations and the bear's age.

Several other grizzlies have been euthanized in Montana over the spring and summer.

On July 19, wildlife officials euthanized a young grizzly near Tiber Dam after it killed dozens of sheep.

A grizzly bear in the Blackfoot Valley was euthanized on May 12 following repeated break-ins at a barn to access grain.

A young, male grizzly was euthanized in the Sun River Valley on May 1 after killing several calves while a sub-adult male grizzly was put down in the Helmville Valley in late April for its involvement in livestock depredations.

FWP also released some information concerning a grizzly bear that was shot and killed by a landowner west of Augusta on April 13.