A grizzly bear that killed a woman on a Montana trail in July and injured a person near an Idaho state park in 2020 was euthanized after smashing through a home’s kitchen window this month. ci, Montana wildlife officials said Wednesday.
Given the 10-year-old bear’s “history of conflict with humans,” the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks said, authorities decided to kill the animal on Saturday, moments after that he broke into a house near West Yellowstone, a town. of approximately 1,200 residents, approximately one mile from Yellowstone National Park.
The grizzly was with a cub when he broke into the home on Saturday morning and pulled out a container of dog food from inside, authorities said. Later that evening, wildlife officials and law enforcement captured the cub and shot the adult grizzly.
The Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks said its decision to kill the bear was prompted by an “immediate threat to public safety due to the bear’s food-conditioned behavior”.
The small male, who weighed 46 pounds, was being held at a wildlife rehabilitation center while arrangements were being made in the coming weeks to transfer him to a zoo, the department said.
The grizzly bear’s journey through the mountainous states of Montana and Idaho has sparked concern from authorities, who have attempted to trap and remove the bear on several occasions after July’s fatal attack.
The victim of that attack, Amie Adamson, 48, of Derby, Kan., was hiking or jogging in the morning along Buttermilk Trail, eight miles west of West Yellowstone, at the time of the attack. which did not appear to have been the case. predatory and occurred while Ms Adamson was alone and without a firearm or bear spray, authorities said.
The attack occurred near houses, campgrounds and busy trails, officials said, and was seen as a defensive response by the bear. The 2020 bear encounter in Idaho was near Henrys Lake State Park.
Montana residents have heard warnings in recent months about the potential dangers posed by increasing bear populations in the state. Authorities have asked visitors to “be careful”.
In some cases, grizzly bears have been sighted in places where they had not been seen for over a century, notably in the Pryor Mountains, where the species was not thought to have been seen for the late 1900s. 1800.
Grizzlies are a federally protected subspecies of brown bears in the lower 48 states under the Endangered Species Act. Their expansion into Montana, the department said, “improves the long-term prospects for sustainability of the” bear population, but it also “poses new challenges” for Montana residents because the animals can damage property. or injure people.
Grizzly bears are larger than black bears, with adults standing over eight feet tall when raised on their hind legs. The average weight of a grizzly is 400 to 500 pounds for males and 250 to 350 pounds for females. Bears can run up to 35 miles per hour.
Earlier this year, the ministry shared photos showing a grizzly bear standing almost as high as a shed, its long, curved claws slicing through pieces of wood.
Grizzly bear attacks are rare, however. Since Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872, only eight people have been killed by bears in the park, the last in 2015, according to the National Park Service. Since 1979, 44 people have been injured by grizzly bears in the park, which has seen more than 118 million visitors during that time.
“In the park, more people died from drowning (125 incidents) or burns (after falling into hot springs, 23 incidents) than from bears,” the service said.
Still, the danger is real, and authorities have offered several tips to Montanans: carry and know how to use bear repellent; travel in a group when possible and plan to go out during the day; and avoid carcass sites and concentrations of crows and other scavengers.