Last Saturday, a grizzly bear had to hide in a deserted homestead building after being chased, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigation.
A few grizzly bears have recently started to disperse from the Rocky Mountains Front onto the plains leading to this incident. The fact that bears began to appear near communities such as Valier and Conrad raised the concern of the locals.
A public meeting will take place in Valier on May 24th to decide what are the best solutions to educate and protect the grizzly bears, as well as moving them farther east onto the plains closer to the Rocky Mountains.
According to Mike Madel, a grizzly bear management specialist with Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, a couple of dogs and a pickup truck chased the bear through a muddy slough until the bear found rescue in the abandoned farm building.
When PWP officials arrived, the exhausted and intimidated bear was hiding inside an old granary building. According to Brian Lakes, an investigator with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, all these clues might indicate a possible violation of the Endangered Species Act.
It is already world-wide known that grizzly bears are threatened and thus, federally protected. It means that harassing or chasing them is illegal and therefore punishable by law. The first people who found the bear were Catherine Kellogg and her husband Mitch Kellogg which arrived at 7:30 p.m. at the granary while the exhausted grizzly was still sleeping.
According to the investigation, the bear might have been pushed by the neighbors out of yards making the bear head cross-country before being chased by the pickup truck and the dogs.
Madel and Mike Krings, a Conrad-area PWP game warden, decided to find another way besides setting a trap for the bear, as it was a male around five years old, weighing 450 pounds. It means that is too dangerous to try and get closer to such an animal of this size. Instead, the two decided to secure the area and wait for the bear to leave at the sunset.
According to Madel, people are advised to keep cat and dog garbage, food and other sources of protein wrapped and well put. It is the period when grizzly bears are still searching for food after the hibernation.
Image Source:National Geographic