Outdoors

Geezer grizzly lived noble life until age brought him down

Tooth decay and wear and tear probably made it difficult for the old grizzly to chew, prompting it to leave its wilderness habitat for private land in search of food, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. (Associated Press)
Tooth decay and wear and tear probably made it difficult for the old grizzly to chew, prompting it to leave its wilderness habitat for private land in search of food, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. (Associated Press)

WILDLIFE — Montana wildlife officials have euthanized what they say may be the oldest male grizzly bear to be captured in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem.

Mike Madel, a grizzly bear management specialist for Fish, Wildlife and Parks, says the bear was between 24 and 27 years old.

The bear was captured Saturday after it broke into a barn south of Augusta. It was euthanized Monday at the FWP’s Bozeman laboratory.

Its teeth had worn down and decayed, making it difficult for the grizzly to fend for itself or forage. Madel tells the Great Falls Tribune that age and poor health probably prompted it to leave its usual habitat in search of food

Madel says that male grizzlies don’t often make it past 22 or 23. Female grizzlies typically live longer.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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