A Sting Operation Is In Place To Catch Those UM Bears
The ongoing saga of bear sightings in Missoula continues, just as I predicted. It seems like every couple of days, we hear about another alert sent out by the University of Montana, warning students and passersby of a bear sighting that occurred on campus. Heck, I even saw one for myself, so I know they're not making this up.
Turns out, UM has actually issued ten different alerts since October to warn about bear sightings. That's a lot of bears! Some of them may have been repeat sightings of the same bear, but we keep getting reports of bears of different sizes all around campus, so there's got to be at least a few roaming around. And if you thought the university wasn't doing enough to catch the bears, well, you better think again.
That's because local biologists have been planning a sting operation for the bears, setting traps around campus and working with the UM Wildlife Society Students to "bear proof" the campus. They expect to be able to do what they need to do during the winter break, when most students are back home.
I think I just like the description of calling it a "sting operation." It makes it sound like it involves spy work, espionage, long stakeouts... I'm picturing Gene Hackman in The Conversation with a big listening device over his head, listening through a wall which has bears hatching their own nefarious schemes on the other side.
As always, if you see a bear, don't approach them. They haven't been aggressive so far, but the best thing to do is call either 911 or UMPD at (406) 243-4000.