Three grizzly bears have been caught since Friday, July 21, and one had to be euthanized according to an official.
Stacy Courville, a wildlife biologist with the Natural Resources Department of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, said Monday afternoon that while officials searched for the “big male that was killing livestock,” the other two bears were captured and then released in remote areas.
Courville said a male weighing 200 pounds was captured south of Pablo on July 21, followed by a female weighing 273 pounds on Sunday, July 23 east of Polson. Both captures lead up to officials catching the beast responsible for multiple livestock deaths, Courville said.
The grizzly that officials were searching for was responsible for killing “three llamas, four pigs and a calf that we know of,” Courville said. That same bear “made attempts” on pigs at a residence twice and llamas east of Polson, he added. The sought-after grizzly weighed 572 pounds, Courville confirmed.
It was the same bear Courville said he captured in 2014.
Courville said that while the Mission Valley is bear country, residents and visitors should be aware of their surroundings.
Should humans come in contact with a wild animal, Courville said that responses vary. Depending on the context, however, officials “encourage people to carry bear spray.”
The last time a bear was euthanized was last September when an adult female was injured after being shot with a shotgun. Officials euthanized the bear, sending her two cubs to Helena then to the Baltimore Zoo.