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Montana News

Grizzly Killed After Attacking Cattle Near Avon

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Wildlife officials killed a male grizzly bear on May 24 in the Ophir Creek area northeast of Avon. The bear had been in the area consistently for the past month and killed several cows on a local ranch earlier this week, according to a press release from Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

Multiple grizzly bears have been observed in the area this spring. FWP says it’s working with local landowners and Wildlife Services to help secure livestock by removing bone piles and other attractants that can draw bears in.

In early May, a different male grizzly was captured in the same location and relocated to a more remote location away from livestock. FWP says the bear has not returned to the area. Wildlife officials in May also killed a bear due to conflicts with livestock in the Big Snowy Mountains. It was the first grizzly confirmed in the area in modern times. 

To protect livestock from bears, officials recommend using electric fencing around bone piles, corrals and pens; pasturing cattle away from areas with creeks and lots of foliage; and placing feeders in open pasture. They also recommend that people in or near towns secure garbage, pet food, barbeque grills and bird feeders. 

A nearly $1 million federal grant awarded last year aims to reduce conflict between people and predators. The grant specifically funds research into things like livestock carcass removal programs, electric fencing, range riding or training people who travel with herds to keep them safe from predators.

To reach the FWP west-central Montana bear specialist, call Jamie Jonkel at 406-542-5508. In cases of depredation or wounded livestock, call your local USDA Wildlife Services agent.

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