Orphan cub that survived car collision euthanized

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The lone survivor of a family of grizzly bears killed in a vehicle collision last month near Ronan has been euthanized.

According to wildlife officials with Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, the cub was captured after its mother, brother and sister were killed July 27 on U.S. 93 near the Ninepipe area of the Flathead Reservation.

Orphan cubs are unable to survive without their mother, so officials attempted to place the surviving cub at the Montana Wild Rehabilitation Center until a suitable long-term facility was located. The center, however, didn’t have the capacity to take the cub.

Biologists also searched without luck for an Association of Zoo and Aquarium certified grizzly bear facility that could take the cub.

“We had hoped to find a facility to take the grizzly bear cub, but sadly, there are none available at this time and the cub would not have survived back in the wild without its mother.” said Stacy Courville, CSKT bear biologist.

The cub was euthanized Thursday. The bear was approximately 7 months old and weighed 34 pounds.

According to tribal wildlife officials, 26 grizzlies have been killed in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem this year, including 12 deaths involving vehicle collisions.

Grizzlies are protected as a threatened species in Northwest Montana.

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