Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks euthanized a food-conditioned grizzly bear near Bigfork last week.
The agency announced the bear's death in a Monday press release. It said the 350-pound adult female grizzly had been captured in early October after breaking into chicken coops and killing chickens in the Ferndale area northeast of Flathead Lake. The bear was moved to the Spotted Bear River, deep inside Flathead National Forest, but returned to Ferndale and approached residences.
After consulting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks euthanized the grizzly bear. They determined it had lost its natural foraging habits and become "food-conditioned," according to the release. A female cub accompanying it was captured Oct. 26, fitted with a GPS collar and released in the Deep Creek area on the east side of Hungry Horse Reservoir.
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As of mid-October, there were 44 known or probable grizzly bear mortalities in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) across northwest Montana. The 46 grizzly deaths last year set a record.
For more information on grizzly bear safety and management, visit fwp.mt.gov/fishandwildlife/species/grizzlybear.