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Three Grizzlies Killed On Northwest Montana Highways Last Week

Grizzly bear
Steve Hillebrand, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (PD)

Three grizzly bears died on northwest Montana highways last week. As bears search for food before bunking down for the winter, wildlife officials caution drivers to watch out for bears feasting on roadkill.

On October 27, a female cub was found dead on Highway 35 along Flathead Lake, and later that day a logging truck hit and killed an adult male griz on the Swan Highway.

On November 2 a yearling female griz was found dead on the Swan Highway.

Food has been scarce for grizzlies this year, says John Fraley of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. It was a bad season for huckleberries.

“So what’s going on is these  bears are down in lower elevations feeding on roadkill along our highways because there is just a lack of food in general up in the higher elevations.  So we are really asking folks to keep their eyes open and maybe slow down a little bit and try to give the bears a break.”

Fraley said he couldn’t remember another time when this many bears were killed on Montana highways in such a short time.

The Montana Departments of Transportation and Fish, Wildlife and Parks are trying to remove road-killed deer from highway corridors to minimize the chances of bears being attracted.

Corin Cates-Carney manages MTPR’s daily and long-term news projects. After spending more than five years living and reporting across Western and Central Montana, he became news director in early 2020.
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