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Several bears hit by vehicles in recent days in Montana

GRIZZLY BEAR (file photo)
Posted at 3:11 PM, Oct 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-24 12:07:34-04

MISSOULA — It's a dangerous time to be a bear right now, as several have been hit by vehicles in Western Montana as they prepare for hibernation in recent days.

A 582-pound grizzly bear named "Dick" died after being hit on Montana Highway 200 near the Marco Flats Fishing Access Site last week.

The bear had spent a lot of his time in the Ovando area.

Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks bear management specialist Jamie Jonkel says Dick had been captured a couple of times before.

At the time of his death, they believe he was close to 20 years old. The animal's remains were sent to a taxidermist for future educational purposes.

Jonkel noted this is the time of year that bears are especially vulnerable to vehicle-related mortality as the engage in hyperphagia to load up on calories.

He added that just on Monday, October 23, three black bears were hit by cars on Interstate 90 and Highway 200 in Western Montana.


Stay 'bear aware' in Missoula as bears prepare for hibernation