WEST GLACIER – Park rangers in Glacier National Park captured and euthanized a black bear on Sunday, saying the animal had displayed aggressive behavior by entering campsites and charging visitors.

Park spokesperson Jennifer Lutman said the 100-pound bear had frequented the Fish Creek Campground almost daily for two weeks.

Efforts to haze the animal weren’t successful and relocation wasn’t an option.

“This bear was determined to be a food-conditioned bear and a potential threat to human safety,” Lutman said. “Food-conditioned bears are not relocated due to human safety concerns.”

Lutman said rangers set traps and captured the suspect animal on Sunday at roughly 7:30 p.m. Park personnel identified the animal through its distinct markings.

The female bear was approximately 3 years old. Black bears aren’t generally sent to zoos or animal parks because of their strong population and presence across the U.S.

Signs posted throughout the park remind visitors to keep campgrounds clean of food and trash in an effort to keep animals from becoming habituated to human offerings.

Park regulations require that food, containers and cookware be stored in a hard-sided vehicle or food locker when not in use.

“Yes, visitors are ticketed for poor food storage,” said Lutman.

The park was unable to immediately say how many visitors are ticketed each year for improper food storage.

Reporter Martin Kidston can be reached at 523-5260, or at martin.kidston@missoulian.com.

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(8) comments


Regardless of the bleeding heart comments, large carnivores that lose their respect for people will be put down. Yes, people who leave food around should be prosecuted - but it's difficult to catch them.


Best cure would be to limit the number of tourist allowed in the park each year... The 2.1 Million tourist allowed into Glacier last year in a few short months turned the park into a parking lot with wall to wall people... 500,000 visits a year should be the limit..., Same with that predator pit called Yellowstone...The tourist are loving our parks to death ...And the wildlife along with it.


"Euthanasia" means "good death." Killing a healthy bear in the prime of her life is not a good death. She wasn't euthanized, she was killed for human ignorance and disregard. Let's at least have the honesty to call it what it is.


Tourism is to blame. Keep wildlife wild.


Were any campers ticketed? Until violators are punished, consistently, these results, punished bear but not campers will repeat. We can demand that a bear not act aggressively or too familiar on penalty of death, but not ask that campers not entice bears by their stupidity, on penalty of a stiff fine???


Were any campers ticketed?


For what? The food conditioning could have happened a couple of years ago.


You should have gone up and tried to talk some sense into the bear.

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