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Food conditioned black bear euthanized

Rangers spent days attempting to haze bear out of Lake McDonald Lodge area

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Glacier National Park News Release

MONTANA  – Glacier National Park rangers euthanized a black bear in the Lake McDonald Lodge area after finding it had broken into a cabin in employee housing. Nobody was present in the cabin at the time. The bear matched the description and photos of a bear that had been reported multiple times in the area since Memorial Day weekend.

On Friday, May 24, a black bear was reported in the Lake McDonald Lodge horse corral eating unsecured horse feed. That same night and the following morning, the bear returned, exhibiting little fear of humans or horses.

On Sunday, May 26, a private landowner in the immediate area reported that a bear had pushed in porch screens and caused other property damage at a local residence. Another nearby resident reported a black bear looking into their cabin windows.

For over a week, rangers spent hours in the Lake McDonald Lodge area locating the bear and using extensive aversive conditioning techniques to encourage the bear to seek out wild areas and natural food sources again. They made contact with the bear multiple times.

Ultimately, the male bear was euthanized, which is consistent with Glacier National Park’s Bear Management Plan, in consultation with park wildlife biologists. The bear was estimated to be around nine years old and approximately 150 pounds. A field necropsy revealed it to be in otherwise healthy condition.

Food-conditioned bears are those that have sought and obtained non-natural foods, destroyed property or displayed aggressive, non-defensive behavior towards humans and are removed from the wild. Food-conditioned bears are not relocated due to human safety concerns.

Visitors are reminded to keep campgrounds and developed areas clean and free of food and trash.  For more information about recreating in bear country, please visit http://www.nps.gov/glac/naturescience/bears.htm.

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