Reluctant rangers shoot, kill grizzly

Cub also dies, victim of tranquilizer dart

WEST GLACIER, Mont. – A disturbingly friendly grizzly bear that had boldly wandered through campgrounds and sniffed food and around the edges of tents has been killed after Glacier National Park officials determined the animal had become too much of a threat to humans.

One of her two yearling cubs died after being tranquilized. The other will be moved to the Bronx Zoo.

Park rangers shot the 17-year-old grizzly Monday about 300 yards from the Oldman Lake Campground, which was occupied. An hour later, the yearling cubs were hit with tranquilizer darts, but one died. Rangers had attempted to resuscitate the yearling by performing mouth-to-nose breathing.

The adult female had a long history of interaction with people, and had never been too aggressive.

“Instead of avoiding people, it’s almost like she’s attracted to them,” said Jack Potter, Glacier’s chief of science and natural resources.

The bear used park trails and shadowed hikers. She could not be dissuaded from entering a campground by people yelling and waving their arms.

Potter said the decision to kill the bear was difficult, but park officials couldn’t afford to wait until something really bad happened.

“Some people seem to want us to wait until there’s a body before we act,” he told the Missoulian. “We don’t work that way.”

There is one comment on this story »

Rich Landers

Rich Landers

More Outdoors Columns »
More Outdoors Blog Posts »

Most recent column

Landers: Nordic skiing questions deserve well-waxed answers

“I’ve been considering getting back into cross-country skiing, and I have questions,” wrote The Spokesman-Review’s Paul Turner as he focused his column this week on The Slice of life that teeters on skinny skis. Doubtless he’ll get the usual pile of insightful answers from his …

Recent blog posts

Four bald eagles show up at lake CdA, so far

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- Four bald eagles were counted today at Lake Coeur d'Alene in the weekly fall survey conducted during the annual fall-winter congregation at the northeast corner of the ...

Outdoors Calendar

Submit Your Event »

Outdoors Photography

More SR Photo Galleries »
More Reader Photos »





Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
(800) 338-8801
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801