Two female grizzly bears were trapped on private property in Carbon County last week and euthanized after an investigation determined they were involved in killing a rancher's calf.
The depredation was reported on Oct. 4 and, following an investigation by officials from Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services, a trap was set. One adult female grizzly bear and a subadult grizzly female were captured in the trap. The adult was captured in 2018 after a similar depredation incident and released. Both bears had been involved in two other recent depredations.
FWP officials and USDA Wildlife Services recommended that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approve action to euthanize both bears. That approval was granted and the bears were put down.
Producers can reduce the risk of depredation by installing electric fencing around small calving pastures, pens and corrals. Distributing livestock away from brushy cover and creeks during the spring and early summer when bears frequently travel along these areas can also help. Additionally, putting salt, mineral, and creep feeders out in the open away from brush and water can prevent problems. Removing or installing electric fencing around bone piles can also prevent bears from being drawn near to homes and herds.
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In and around towns, attractants can include pet food, garbage, barbecue grills and bird feeders.
FWP specialists work diligently to help landowners and communities avoid bear conflicts. To reach the FWP south central Montana bear specialist, call Kylie Kembel at 406-850-1131. In cases of depredation or wounded livestock, call your local USDA Wildlife Services agent.