Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks euthanized the mother of three grizzly bear cubs Tuesday in the Seeley-Swan Valley after she became food conditioned. 14 grizzlies from the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) have been euthanized this year, double the 10-year average.
FWP spokesperson Dillon Tabish says the mother of the three cubs became food conditioned after breaking into structures near Condon seeking grain ahead of the winter denning season.
"Fish, Wildlife and Parks captured the bears and in accordance with Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee Guidelines and after consulting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the decision was made to euthanize the adult female due to food conditioning," Tabish says.
One of the sow’s three cubs stopped returning to the trap site and will be left to survive on its own. FWP was able to capture the other two young grizzlies.
"And they are going to be sent to the Grizzly [and] Wolf Discovery Center where they will live out the rest of their life in West Yellowstone," Tabish says.
Last year, 11 grizzly bears from the NCDE were euthanized.
FWP is reminding Montanans that bears are very active in the fall season as they seek out food ahead of winter. The agency is asking people to secure bear attractants like garbage, pet food, grain and bird seed to avoid unnecessary conflicts.