Seeley Swan Pathfinder
April 8, 1999
A subadult male grizzly bear from the Lincoln area was euthanized in Missoula, after all attempts to place the troublesome bear in a zoo facility were unsuccessful. According to Mack Long, regional supervisor for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, "This is unfortunate, but after getting into trouble two times a subadult male must be removed from the population, according to The Interagency Grizzly Bear Guidelines."
The bear was captured by the U.S. Wildlife Services near Lincoln. Snares had been set after the bear killed two livestock calves late on March 26 or early morning the next day. Long said that this bear had been captured and relocated last July from the same vicinity. Two weeks after that attempt, the bear returned to the Lincoln area and again was getting into pet food and other attractants in and around the town. It later moved to the Ovando area and then denned for the winter. It returned to the Lincoln area around March 20, and three days later it was seen in town. Long said that by then "the bear was definitely habituated to people."
Long said that after two incidents of this kind of trouble a subadult male grizzly must be removed and so before euthanizing it, "we held the bear and spent two days trying to find an approved zoo that would take it." That effort was not successful.
Long reminds people to take the responsibility to remove anything that would attract bears, such as garbage, pet food, bird feeders and compost piles. "By all working together, we can prevent bears from getting into trouble and this kind of thing won't need to happen."