An adult female grizzly bear captured in the Seeley-Swan Valley was euthanized on Tuesday after wildlife officials determined the animal had become food-conditioned, according to a press release from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Officials caught the adult bear and two cubs after the animals had broken into structures to obtain grain — an example of behavior that occurs when wildlife loses natural foraging habits. In accordance with Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee guidelines, the adult female was euthanized.
According to the press release, the cubs are being sent to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone.
Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials were unable to capture a third cub that was with the adult bear and it “stopped showing up at the trap site.” Traps were removed from the field and the cub will be given an opportunity to survive on its own.
During summer and early fall, bears are increasingly active and eating as much as they can to prepare for winter denning. At this time especially, officials ask that homeowners keep attractants secured. These attractants include garbage, pet and livestock food, fruit trees, compost, outdoor food cookers and more.
If containment or securing of such attractants is not a viable option, officials say properly installed and maintained electric fencing is a very effective tool. Loud noises, high decibel motion-activated alarms, sprinkler systems and other options serve are also effective, although are more temporary and short-term deterrents.
Residents are encouraged to report bear activity immediately.