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"Highly aggressive" grizzly bear killed near Bynum

GRIZZLY BEAR (file photo)
Grizzly Bear - AP PHOTO
Posted at 4:52 PM, Sep 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-24 15:26:38-04

GREAT FALLS — Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks said on Friday that a grizzly bear was euthanized near Bynum on Wednesday, September 21, 2022.

The agency said in a news release that the adult female bear was killed "after displaying unusually aggressive behavior towards a landowner."

The landowner first encountered the bear late Wednesday afternoon while driving on a two-track farm road and the bear emerged from a small cattail patch and charged at his vehicle.

He returned with another person in a second vehicle, and the bear again charged, and this time struck and bit the vehicle.

FWP game wardens and bear management specialists responded and determined that trapping and relocating the bear was not an option due to its aggressive behavior.

Wildlife managers then obtained permission from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to euthanize the bear immediately in the interest of human safety.

No cause could be determined for the highly aggressive behavior of the female bear, which was estimated to be four years old and weighed about 350 pounds. It did not have cubs, and there was no food item or carcass that could be found in the area.

FWP said this grizzly had previously been in residential conflict on the Blackfeet Reservation and relocated to the southern Mission mountains in 2020.

The hide and head from the bear were salvaged and will be used for educational purposes.

Grizzly bears are protected under the Endangered Species Act, and final authority regarding management actions are up to the USFWS.

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If you see a bear near your residence or need to report a conflict, call bear specialist at the contact number found at FWP’s website.

For more information on living, working, and recreating in Montana’s bear country, visit the FWP Bear Aware website.