Grizzly bears caught near Flathead Valley

Photo courtesy of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (Region 1)

KALISPELL - Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks caught three grizzly bears rummaging through food near residences in the Flathead area the first week of May.

According to a release from FWP, two bears were reportedly seen eating grass in someone's yard on the west shore of Swan Lake and then continued to north of Woods Bay in the middle of April. Someone told FWP bears were tipping over a grill near Flathead Lake and getting into unprotected trash in Woods Bay on May 1. FWP says the bears traveled back east reportedly accessing a hummingbird feeder and trash near homes on Crane Mountain May 3. The bears were reportedly eating from bird feeders and dog food in people's yards in the Cedar Bay and West Swan Shore Lane areas.

FWP says they placed culvert traps on private land on May 4 and caught the three bears, approximately 3-years-old, May 7. 

FWP says they released them back into the wild on May with the advice of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service, placing the two female grizzlies in the Whale Creek drainage and the male grizzly by the British Columbia border. FWP says they put tracking collars on all the grizzlies.

FWP is urging people to protect their trash, bird feeders, chickens and livestock from bears to prevent problems. They advise keeping at least a 100-yard distance from wild animals and to make loud noises to ward them off. FWP says it is necessary to bring bear spray and to be around groups of people making loud sounds.

FWP urges people to report any grizzly bear occurrences in the Flathead Valley right away by reaching them at (406) 250-1265. Call (406) 250-0062 to report black bear or mountain lion occurrences in the Flathead Valley.  

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