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Wounded grizzly bear near Shelby euthanized

Posted at 4:52 AM, Aug 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-15 06:52:13-04

A grizzly bear that was wounded by a gunshot on July 26 was captured and killed by wildlife officials on Monday along the Marias River west of Highway 417 near Shelby. 

The shooting of the bear in July is being investigated by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The bear was euthanized on Monday because it was not likely to survive the gunshot wound, and due to concerns for public safety.

FWP included a photo of the tracks of the bear in a Facebook post and explained: "These tracks show that the individual bear was dragging it’s front right leg and was unable to put weight on it. A grizzly that cannot use it’s front leg suffers as it cannot properly dig dens or obtain food like roots and insects."

FWP first trapped this 3-year-old male grizzly last October near Choteau where it had been eating apples out of trees near a residence. The bear was collared and released on National Forest land.

Over the summer, the bear returned to prairie lands along the Marias River and got into additional unsecured attractants (chicken feed and dog food) at one or more residences. 

After approaching another residence, the bear was shot, although authorities do not yet know who shot it. FWP had tried to locate and trap the bear but was unsuccessful.

The bear was part of the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem grizzly population, which are federally protected under the Endangered Species List.