A young black bear that had been getting into garbage in and around Forsyth in recent days was successfully trapped, tranquilized, tagged and relocated to a remote area Thursday by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 7.
“The department really appreciates the patience the community showed for the bear as we worked through it,” said Warden Sergeant Chris Kerin. “That afforded us to give the bear an opportunity to be relocated and not habituated to people and attractants, and that’s our goal.”
The Rosebud County Sheriff’s Office and Colstrip Police Department were very helpful throughout the process and have been instrumental in providing public safety information.
Relocation is one tool that FWP has at its disposal. Hazing is another. But the best approach is prevention, in the sense of educating people on how to avoid encounters with bears. Spring and summer is a time when bears are out and about in search of food and territory, but this season has been busier than usual in Region 7 for black bear sightings. To keep wildlife and people safe, it is crucial that people do all they can to secure any bear attractants, such as trash, birdseed, pet food, beehives, barbecue grills, plants and vegetables, salt licks, etc. Visit the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov to learn more about Living with Wildlife.
Though it may be unintentional, allowing easy access to these attractants is what draws bears in, and they can quickly become habituated to humans. This creates a situation that, if not remedied, may mean injury to humans or death for the bear.
If you see a bear in close proximity to humans, please contact FWP at 406-234-0900 or call 1-800-TIP-MONT.