Over the course of a few weeks, a grizzly bear was able to access garbage in unsecured bear-resistant containers as well as one instance when the bear found unsecured food in a vehicle in Big Sky.
“Attempts to haze the bear after attractants were stored properly and secured with electric fencing were unsuccessful,” a release from Montana, Fish, Wildlife and Parks stated.
According to FWP, the bear was captured on Aug. 4 and euthanized on Aug. 6 after consultations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The bear was euthanized because it had “it had become conditioned to seeking food from unnatural sources, which creates human safety risks,” the release stated.
The bear was a 3-5 year of age female grizzly without cubs.
“Unsecured attractants, such as garbage and bird feeders, can lead to human safety risks and property damage from bears. Relocating bears that have associated human activity with food usually leads to further conflicts and safety risks because bears often return to the same area where they were captured to look for food,” the release stated.
After bears have been learned to associate human activity with food, the bear cannot be rehabilitated.
According to the release, bear population numbers are increasing and becoming more widespread in Montana. For this reason, the likelihood of encounters between humans and bears is higher with each year.
“Bears also become more active in late summer and fall as they spend more time eating in preparation for hibernation,” the release stated.