Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks euthanized a sub-adult male grizzly bear in the Blackfoot Valley on Sunday, May 12. FWP Information and Education Program Manager Vivaca Crowser says a number of grizzly bears have been out and about in The Blackfoot.

“We had one that repeatedly tried to access some grain in a secured building,” Crowser said. “When you have a bear that exhibits behavior like that it is really hard to break those patterns. They become food conditions and bolder with their attempts. Unfortunately, in this case, we had to make the decision to euthanize it.”

According to Crowser, we had the highest bear conflict year on record in the Blackfoot last year. She says the fires in 2017 and good berry crop may have displaced some bears into valley areas more than usual.

“They found things that were attractive to them, things like livestock feed, livestock itself, garbage, and other things that were not secured,” Crowser said. “Last fall, some of the younger bears were taught some bad behavior. We are seeing those bears out of hibernation, back down in the valley and getting into trouble.”

Crowser says it is important to keep bear attractants behind electric fences or inside a secure structure. FWP made the decision to euthanize the bear in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and in accordance with Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee guidelines.