Kalispell, MT — On June 6, three grizzly bears were struck and killed by trains traveling through Glacier County approximately two miles east of Marias Pass near Glacier National Park.
An adult female grizzly bear and two yearlings were grazing along the tracks when a collision occurred at approximately 4:19 a.m. The first collision involved only the adult female, which weighed 232 pounds. The adult female was previously captured in 2000 as part of a Glacier National Park research project.
The two yearling males, each weighing approximately 65 pounds, were later struck by a separate train near the same location.
FWP personnel investigated the incidents. There were no attractants present that would have drawn the bears to the tracks.
FWP has worked with agencies and railroad companies over the years to minimize grizzly bear mortalities along travel routes. These preventative measures include reducing attractants.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was notified of the incidents.
The Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem is home to more than 1,000 grizzly bears. The NCDE is a designated grizzly bear recovery zone that spans Glacier National Park, parts of the Flathead and Blackfeet Indian Reservations, parts of five national forests and a significant amount of state and private lands.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks maintains a population monitoring program and follows protocols and management objectives designed to maintain a healthy grizzly bear population in the NCDE. This includes tracking known mortalities, whether bears are killed or removed from the population, and notifying the public.
For information about grizzly bears, visit http://fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/species/grizzlyBear/. Residents can call FWP regional offices to learn more about bears or to report bear activity. In northwest Montana, call (406) 752-5501.