Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) euthanized an adult male grizzly bear Monday, Aug. 5 southwest of Augusta for repeated calf depredations.
FWP bear management specialist, Mike Madel, said the bear was a larger older male that was seen feeding on calves.
“It was one of the oldest bears I’ve ever seen, 24 and a half years old,” said Madel, who captured and marked it in 1998. The bear had relocated to the Sun River Wildlife Management Area on the Rocky Mountain Front and had not caused any conflicts since then.
Although the bear currently weighed 551 pounds, its teeth were in poor shape, and overall the animal was not in good condition.
“It had several broken molars with abscesses and it’s canine teeth were worn down,” Madel said. “And it had signs of arthritis. It was on the downhill slide.”
The bear was captured by federal Wildlife Services.
Due to the livestock depredations and the animal’s age, FWP decided to euthanize it in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and in accordance with Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee guidelines.