grizzly bear eats berries

KALISPELL - Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials captured two young grizzlies this week and relocated them away from populated areas.

A release from Montana FWP says in separate incidents, two young grizzlies were found feeding on chokecherries near homes. The bears appeared habituated to humans and posed potential risk.

The public is invited to an FWP bear management event in Polebridge on Saturday, Aug. 24 at the Northern Lights Saloon, where people can learn more about how to be safe in bear country.

From the FWP release:

Grizzly Bears Captured Near Kalispell, Whitefish

Residents reminded to secure food attracts; recreationists should ‘Be Bear Aware’ 

Kalispell, MT — With the arrival of autumn, bears are increasingly active and searching for food sources, and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is reminding the public to secure food attractants and “Be Bear Aware.” 

FWP has received numerous reports of bear activity across the region. FWP captured two grizzly bears this week in the Flathead Valley and moved them to remote sections of the Flathead National Forest near the Bob Marshall Wilderness. 

On Aug. 20, FWP personnel captured a 2-year-old male grizzly bear off Conrad Drive near the Flathead River east of Kalispell. The area has abundant chokecherry trees, which are commonly found along rivers and streams and provide a popular natural food source for bears. The male bear was frequenting private property with the shrubs. Additionally, the bear began eating from unsecured residential garbage cans, which can lead to food conditioning. A food-conditioned animal actively seeks unnatural food rewards, has lost its natural foraging behavior, and can be dangerous.

FWP moved the bear to a remote area near the Spotted Bear River after consulting the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and in accordance with Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee guidelines.

On Aug. 21, FWP personnel captured a 2-to-3-year-old female grizzly bear off Farm to Market Road near the Stillwater River west of Whitefish. The bear was eating from chokecherry trees on private property. It was not eating from garbage or causing other conflicts but displayed behavior that it appeared habituated to people. Wildlife that become habituated are unnaturally comfortable around people and pose a risk to public safety.

FWP moved the bear to another remote area near the Spotted Bear River on the edge of the Bob Marshall Wilderness after consulting the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and in accordance with Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee guidelines. 

FWP bear management specialists will be in Polebridge on Saturday, Aug. 24 for an educational event focused on living and recreating safely in bear country. The free event is from noon-3 p.m. at the Northern Lights Saloon and is sponsored by North Fork Preservation Association, North Fork Landowners Association, North Fork Trails Association, Montana Outdoor Legacy Foundation, Northern Lights Saloon and Polebridge Mercantile.

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