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Officials kill grizzly near Choteau after livestock depredations

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Grizzly bear print on Bison Peak

Grizzly bear track

Wildlife officials shot and killed a grizzly bear north of Choteau last week after it preyed on sheep and cattle.

The 4-year-old male bear had first been captured and collared in 2021 in a trap set due to cattle depredation. It was unknown at the time if the trapped bear had killed the calf or was scavenging the carcass, so it was collared and released on-site, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks said in a news release. Later in 2021, the bear was documented visiting sites where a sheep and a calf were killed. Officials say the bear was confirmed by trail camera and collar data, but it evaded attempts to capture it at that time.

On Sept. 5, landowners reported another sheep had been killed, and FWP and USDA Wildlife Services technicians responded and confirmed the sheep was killed by a bear. Collar data from the bear showed it was present at the kill site and it was shot and killed on Friday afternoon after approval for the removal came from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Grizzlies are listed as threatened under Endangered Species Act.

The hide and head from the bear were salvaged and will be used for educational purposes, FWP said.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks recently relocated a pair of grizzly bear cubs. (video courtesy of Montana FWP)

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