Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) moved three grizzly bears from the Bigfork and Libby areas after the animals attempted to access human food.
FWP captured a 460-pound adult male grizzly on October 11 after the bear attempted to get into a barn south Libby by tearing at outside boards. FWP fitted the bear with a tracking collar and moved it to a remote location in the Cabinet Mountains, according to a press release from FWP.
The agency captured an adult female grizzly and a female cub-of-the-year earlier in the week after the bears broke into chicken coops near Bigfork. FWP says they moved the bears to a remote area near the Spotted Bear River after fitting them with tracking collars.
So far in 2019 there have been at least 44 known or probable grizzly bear mortalities in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem. A "mortality" is a death or other removal from the population, such as relocation to another ecosystem.
FWP encourages residents to report bear activity as soon as possible. To report grizzly bear activity in the greater Flathead Valley, call FWP wildlife management specialists at (406) 250-1265. To report black bear activity in the greater Flathead Valley, call (406) 250-0062). To report bear activity in the Cabinet-Yaak area, call (406) 291-1320.
Montana is bear country with populations of grizzly and black bears. FWP aks residents to remove or secure food attractants such as garbage and bird feeders and bird seed. Chicken and livestock should be properly secured with electric fencing or inside a closed shed with a door. Recreationists are urged to “Be Bear Aware” and follow precautionary steps and tips to prevent conflicts, such as carrying bear spray.