AUGUSTA — A grizzly bear was euthanized Monday near Augusta after killing several calves.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks euthanized the adult, male grizzly southwest of Augusta after it was seen feeding on calves.
Bear specialist Mike Madel said the 24-year-old bear was one of the oldest he's ever seen. Madel captured and marked the grizzly 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, according to a press release.
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 stated. “And it had signs of arthritis. It was on the downhill slide.”
The bear was captured by federal Wildlife Services.
FWP euthanized it in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and in accordance with Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee guidelines due to the livestock depredations and the bear's age.
Several other grizzlies have been euthanized in Montana over the spring and summer.