Big Sky Roundup

Grizzly that killed woman near West Yellowstone euthanized after breaking into home

By: - September 7, 2023 5:12 pm

A grizzly bear visits a hair snare corral in southwest Montana, June 2021. (Provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

The grizzly bear that killed a woman near West Yellowstone earlier this summer was killed over the weekend after it broke through the kitchen window of a house and took dog food from inside.

The 10-year-old female grizzly was captured Saturday evening after it and its cub broke into the home near West Yellowstone that morning, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesperson Morgan Jacobsen.

He said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services authorized FWP to shoot and kill the bear because it was a public safety threat after becoming conditioned to human food.

Jacobsen said FWP determined the bear was the same one that killed Amie Adamson, who was working at Yellowstone National Park for the summer, in July on the Buttermilk Trail west of West Yellowstone.

The same bear also injured a person in 2020 near Henrys Lake State Park, Jacobsen said, though both encounters were deemed defensive responses by the bear. FWP had tried to trap the bear after the attack in July but was unsuccessful.

The bear had also been captured for research purposes in 2017. Its cub, a 46-pound male, is at FWP’s wildlife rehabilitation center in Helena and will likely be transferred to a zoo in upcoming weeks, Jacobsen said.

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte declared September as Bear Aware Month, and FWP is hosting events across the state throughout the month to spread the message of how to reduce human-bear conflicts as grizzly bears spread out into more areas of Montana and start eating vast quantities of food to bulk up for winter.

Multiple grizzlies have been killed by residents in recent weeks during encounters in Montana. In late August, two men killed a grizzly north of Whitefish after surprising it in the forest.

And on Aug. 30, an angler shot and killed a bear that charged them near Tom Miner Creek. FWP said both incidents likely involved defensive bears in conflicts that involved close encounters.

In early August, another female grizzly was killed by FWP after it got into unsecured trash cans and a vehicle looking for food. A male grizzly that was damaging boats and approaching people at Hungry Horse Reservoir was euthanized in July.

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Blair Miller
Blair Miller

Blair Miller is a reporter based in Helena who primarily covers government, climate and courts. He's been a journalist for more than 12 years, previously based in Denver, Albuquerque and mid-Missouri.