Grizzly Euthanized After Killing Cattle in Montana

A grizzly bear in Montana has been euthanized following the discovery that it likely killed four cattle. ( Flickr: Yellowstone National Park )

Officials in Montana have euthanized a grizzly bear after it killed cattle on a ranch.

The male adult grizzly bear was trapped and euthanized on June 22 near Red Lodge in the south-central area of Montana. An investigation led by Federal Wildlife Services officials in cooperation with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks determined that bears had killed four yearling calves within two miles of one another.

Live traps were set to catch the bear around the rolling sagebrush hills where the cattle had died. FWP wildlife biologist Shawn Stewart estimates that the bear was five to seven years old and the bear that was caught had paws similar in size to tracks found near the dead cattle.

Biologists made the decision to euthanize the bear because it was not a candidate to be transplanted since it had killed multiple cattle.

In the past few years more grizzly bear sightings have been witnessed in the area east of Red Lodge. The area is approximately 20 miles from the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park. The National Park Service estimates that there are 150 resident grizzly bears in Yellowstone, but there are 690 grizzly bears reported in the greater Yellowstone area as of 2016.

Stewart says biologists will continue to monitor for bears in the area and watch for any depredation.

In 2015, the Associated Press reported that a rancher in Idaho near Yellowstone had 14 cows killed by bears during a four year period.

A map of the area where the grizzly bear was killed can be seen below: