WEST GLACIER — Glacier National Park rangers had to kill a black bear that had become too accustomed to raiding picnic areas.
The bear approached a family in the Two Medicine picnic area on Thursday and charged their table after they yelled and clapped at it to scare it away. The family retreated to their vehicle and the bear ate much of their food. A ranger had to haze it repeatedly with rubber bullets and bean bags to make it leave the area.
Glacier Park spokeswoman Denise Germann said the bear was also seen digging in a fire pit in the picnic area and didn’t seem bothered by human presence. There had also been sightings of the bear on trails along the shore of Two Medicine Lake.
After determining the bear was food-conditioned and had become aggressive toward humans, rangers decided to kill it on Friday. Food-conditioned bears cannot be relocated because of safety concerns. This bear was about 5 years old and weighed about 225 pounds.
Visitors are reminded to keep campgrounds and developed areas clean and free of food and trash. Regulations require that all edibles, food containers, and cookware be stored in a hard-sided vehicle or food locker when not in use, day or night. Place all trash in bear-proof containers. Do not burn waste in fire rings or leave litter around your camp. Fire rings should be free of trash before vacating a campsite.