Chicken-eating bear killed near Kalispell

Bear activity picks up; residents reminded to secure food and garbage

A grizzly that had been killing chickens was killed last week just outside Kalispell.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks personnel captured the bear May 30 on private property west of Farm to Market Road. The bear had repeatedly broken into chicken coops and killed chickens over several days. The bear was also documented breaking into unsecured garbage and bird feeders throughout the surrounding residential area. The bear was estimated to be 3 years old and weighed 195 pounds.

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Bear caught on camera before it was killed. Photo courtesy of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Montana state biologists determined the animal was food conditioned, posing a serious risk to public safety and the animal. FWP euthanized the bear in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and in accordance with Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee guidelines.

Biologists are monitoring increased bear activity across northwest Montana, including the Ferndale and Whitefish areas, and personnel are actively working to reduce conflicts in collaboration with landowners.

Residents are encouraged to report possible bear activity as soon as possible. To report grizzly bear activity in the greater Flathead Valley, call FWP wildlife management specialists at (406) 250-1265. To report black bear and mountain lion activity in the greater Flathead Valley, call (406) 250-0062). To report bear activity in the Cabinet-Yaak area, call (406) 291-1320.

Montana has populations of grizzly and black bears. Residents are asked to remove or secure food attractants such as garbage and bird feeders and bird seed. Chicken and livestock should be properly secured with electric fencing or inside a closed shed with a door. People are urged to “Be Bear Aware” and follow precautionary steps and tips to prevent conflicts, such as carrying bear spray.

More safety information is available on the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks website, Residents can call FWP regional offices to learn more about bears or to report bear activity. In northwest Montana, call (406) 752-5501.


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