Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Black bear hit by car near Glacier euthanized

Black bear stock photo.

Glacier National Park rangers euthanized an injured black bear last week along Going-to-the-Sun Road.

The bear was discovered Thursday afternoon two miles east of Rising Sun. An initial investigation by the National Park Service found it sustained unsurvivable traumatic injuries after being hit by a car.

A necropsy revealed a severely broken jaw, an injured foreleg and a potentially damaged rib cage and lung area. The male bear was estimated to be 2 1/2 to 5 years old and appeared to be in otherwise good health.

Investigators estimate the collision happened roughly a half hour before the animal was discovered.

Park officials say whoever hit the bear did not report the incident, so the circumstances of the collision are unknown. However, it happened in an area with thick vegetation near the road, which investigators say may have played a role.

O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the University of Montana School of Journalism. His first career job out of school was covering the 1995 Montana Legislature. When the session wrapped up, O’Brien was fortunate enough to land a full-time position at the station as a general assignment reporter. Feel free to drop him a line at