Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks press release
GREAT FALLS – An adult grizzly bear was euthanized near Bynum on Wednesday evening, September 21, after exhibiting unusually aggressive behavior towards a landowner.
The landowner first encountered the bear late afternoon while driving on a dual carriageway farm road, and it emerged from a small patch of cattail and attacked his vehicle. He returned with another person in a second vehicle, and the bear attacked again, hitting and biting the vehicle. FWP rangers and bear management specialists responded shortly thereafter, realizing that capturing and relocating the bear was not an option due to its aggressive behavior. Wildlife managers then applied for and received permission from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to immediately euthanize the bear in the interest of human safety.
No cause could be found for the highly aggressive behavior of the bear, which is estimated to be four years old and weighs around 350 pounds. It had no young and there was no food or carcasses to be found in the area. The bear was previously in a housing conflict on the Blackfeet Reservation and relocated to the southern Mission Mountains in 2020.
The bear’s fur and head were recovered and are being used for educational purposes.
Montana is bear country. Preventing conflict is easier than managing it.
- Bear spray is a highly effective non-lethal bear repellent. Carry EPA-approved bear spray and know how to use it.
- Grizzly bears may be discouraged from areas near homes using the USFWS guidelines for bullying grizzly bears. This helps increase bears’ fear of humans.
- Don’t let grizzly bears linger in your yard or near houses or other buildings as this can become habit forming.
- Notify your neighbors if you spot a grizzly bear in the area to alert others.
- Never feed wild animals, especially bears. Bears that become food conditioned lose their natural foraging behavior and pose a threat to human safety. And it is illegal to feed bears in Montana.
- Always keep a safe distance from wild animals. Never approach a bear.
- Remove or secure food attractants. Bear-resistant containers and a properly constructed electric fence have proven effective in deterring bears.
Grizzly bears are protected under the Endangered Species Act and the USFWS has ultimate authority over management actions.
If you see a bear near where you live or need to report a conflict, please call your local bear specialist at the phone number listed on the FWP website: https://fwp.mt.gov/conservation/wildlife-management/bear /contact.
For more information on living, working and relaxing in Montana bear country, visit the FWP Bear Aware website at https://fwp.mt.gov/conservation/wildlife-management/bear/be-bear-aware.