Big Sky Roundup

Grizzly bear confirmed to have killed livestock euthanized near Choteau

By: - September 14, 2022 11:40 am

Photo of a grizzly bear (Photo by Gregory Smith | Wikimedia Commons | CC-BY-SA 2.0)

A collared grizzly bear confirmed to have killed livestock was euthanized near Choteau on Friday, according to a press release from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

The bear was first collared last year after it was suspected of killing a calf and later was documented to have visited two other livestock conflict sites (one calf and one sheep), confirmed by trail camera and collar data, but it evaded attempts to capture it at that time.

Landowners reported on Sept. 5 that another sheep was killed, and FWP and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services technicians confirmed the sheep was killed by a bear. Collar data from the bear showed it was present at the kill site at the time of the conflict, and after obtaining USFWS approval to lethally remove the bear, the 4-year-old male bear weighing 386 pounds was shot and killed on Friday afternoon, the news release said.

The hide and head from the bear were salvaged and will be used for educational purposes. Grizzly bears are protected under the Endangered Species Act, and final authority regarding management actions are up to the USFWS.

Choteau residents have seen more bear activity near and in town in recent weeks, with a partially consumed deer carcass, with evidence of bear presence nearby, found close to the Choteau Rodeo Grounds in late August according to reporting from KRTV.

If you see a bear near your residence or need to report a conflict, please call your local bear specialist at the contact number found at FWP’s website: https://fwp.mt.gov/conservation/wildlife-management/bear/contact.

For more information on living, working, and recreating in Montana’s bear country, visit the FWP Bear Aware webpage at https://fwp.mt.gov/conservation/wildlife-management/bear/be-bear-aware.

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