Grizzlies becoming more frequent on Montana’s plains
“Town Crier” newsletter – Briefs from the Region (2) – 6/18/20
According to KRTV, Coloradan Calvin Barrett was driving along the Beartooth Highway in late May when he spotted a mother grizzly and her cubs on the road, slowing down to take a better look. As one cub struggled to climb onto a snowy embankment to join its siblings and mother, the mother charged Barrett’s car, a moment captured on video. Barrett posted the video on Instagram with the accompanying caption: “Slowed down to check out some bears on the way into Montana. Kinda goes without saying but, friendly reminder: don’t f*** with mama bears, or any mamas for that matter. For future reference I’ve been informed that the way we approached the bears, slowing down, and invading their space is not safe nor respectful wildlife viewing practice. So if you find yourself in this situation be sure to stay back and give any wildlife a chance to move out of sight before moving forward.”
Disclaimer: there is language unsuitable for children in the video.
A grizzly double feature: KRTV also reports more grizzly bears are being spotted on the plains of eastern Montana, as far east as Big Sandy this year. The outlet reports Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks says this phenomenon is to be expected: “According to FWP, the grizzly bear population in the Northern Continental Divide ecosystem is increasing at about 2.3 percent a year. The expanding population is actually occurring in all directions, but human-bear conflicts east of the Rockies are seemingly more noticeable because of the number of farms and ranches that have food sources.” Welsey Sarmento, Montana FWP Region 4 bear management specialist, says the increase is attributable to their protected status and the associated rebound in numbers.