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Bear Activity Keeping Montana Wildlife Officials Busy

A bear warning sign.
Josh Burnham
Montana Public Radio
A sign in Missoula warning that bears inhabit the area.

It’s been a busy spring for Montana wildlife officials dealing with bear incidents.

A grizzly bear died Monday after eating pesticides in an open garage in north-central Montana. State wildlife officials say the sub-adult female had been seen with a sibling in the area northwest of Great Falls in the days before it died. The 143-pound bear died within hours of ingesting the chemicals.

Wildlife officials are hoping to trap the second bear, which has been getting into pet food and spilled grain in the area near Carter, which is between Great Falls and Fort Benton.

Wildlife officials are also looking for a home for three grizzly bear cubs that were orphaned last week when their mother was killed by a vehicle near Lincoln.

They're too young to be released on their own and after spending time at the Helena wildlife rehabilitation center they'll equate people with food. The best outcome is to find a zoo that will take them, but the options are limited and they may have to be euthanized.

Yellowstone National Park administrators Tuesday told visitors to honk their horns and drive away if a bear approaches and touches their vehicle after two cases of bears approaching cars.

The same day, FWP announced they responded to a report of a dead grizzly bear in the Coram area of Flathead County on Saturday.

On Monday, FWP announced a black bear hunter shot and killed a grizzly bear in the Swan Valley after misidentifying it in May.

In a separate incident in May, FWP offered up to $2,000 for information about a grizzly bear shooting death north of Libby.

Also in May,a woman was seriously injured by a bear in a remote section of the Cabinet Mountains south of Libby.

Rosie Costain is a former MTPR reporter.
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