Two more grizzlies killed by train

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Two grizzly bear cubs were found recently killed on the railroad tracks southeast of Trego.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks was notified by the U.S. Forest Service on the evening of Oct. 15 of a possible bear carcass along the tracks. FWP investigated finding a dead female cub another cub of unknown sex located on and near the tracks.

A BNSF Railway train was parked at the section of split tracks where the carcasses were located, and FWP notified BNSF Railway personnel at the scene.

FWP staff was unable to locate the adult female that would have been accompanying the cubs.

This year to date, there have been 44 known or probable grizzly bear mortalities in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem across northwest Montana. Of those, eight have involved train collisions, the most in a single year on record.

Five grizzly bears were killed earlier this month near East Glacier Park. The deaths occurred as the result of a train first hitting a cow, which attracted bears to the area.

An Amtrak train struck and killed a grizzly on the tracks and then a second bear was killed by a BNSF Railway freight train. But three other bears were also killed in car collisions U.S. Highway 2 as they were reportedly attracted to the dead cows.

In other grizzly news, On Oct. 11, FWP captured a 460-pound adult male grizzly bear on private property on Bear Creek Road south of Libby. The bear had attempted to get into a barn by tearing at outside wall boards. FWP moved the bear to a remote location near Poorman Creek in the Cabinet Mountains on Oct. 12 after consulting the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and in accordance with Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee guidelines. The bear was fitted with a tracking collar.

On Oct. 7-8, FWP captured an adult female grizzly bear and then a female cub of the year after the bears broke into chicken coops off South Ferndale Drive near Bigfork. FWP moved the bears Oct. 9 to a remote section near the Spotted Bear River after consulting the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and in accordance with Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee guidelines. The bears were fit with tracking collars.

The grizzly bear is listed as a threatened species in the lower 48 states under the federal Endangered Species Act.

For more information about grizzly bears in Montana, visit http://fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/species/grizzlyBear/default.html.

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