Bear hazing goes bad in Glacier Park; bear dies

Print Article

A black bear pauses in a field in Glacier National Park in this file photo.

Rangers in Glacier National Park ended up killing a black bear Aug. 5 in the vicinity of the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn after the animal suffered an injury from a rubber projectile hazing round.

Rangers initially responded around 4:45 p.m. to a report of a black bear in the Many Glacier Campground, according to a park service news release.

The campground was full and many hikers were returning to vehicles in the nearby parking lot; an interpretive spotting scope program also was ongoing nearby, the park said.

To encourage the bear to leave, rangers attempted to haze the animal by voice, but it stayed in the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn and campground area. After voice hazing was ineffective, a ranger fired one rubber projectile hazing round, which inadvertently pierced the bear’s abdomen. Rangers and wildlife biologists determined that the bear had suffered a mortal injury. After removing people from nearby campsites, rangers fired a second shot from a shotgun to kill the bear.

The Many Glacier and Swiftcurrent region has seen a number of bears routinely frequenting the area throughout the summer, and it is believed this bear was one of them, the park said. Many Glacier Campground prohibited soft-sided tent camping for a period of time in June because of bear activity.

Hazing – which might include yelling, clapping, the sounding of horns, and the firing of bean bag rounds and rubber projectile rounds – is a technique used to push bears out of developed places and into areas where natural behavior and foraging can occur, the park said. The park uses hazing to encourage bears to stay away from developed areas where human food rewards are likely.

Once bears begin to frequent campgrounds, parking lots and other visitor areas, the likelihood of habituation and food conditioning rises dramatically, the park said. Habituated or conditioned bears may seek and obtain non-natural foods, destroy property or display aggressive, non-defensive behavior towards humans, officials said.

The park said it hazes dozens of bears each year near or within developed areas. On Monday, for example, park rangers responded to seven separate bear incidents in Many Glacier alone, the park said. Hazing mortalities remain uncommon, but do occur. In the last 15 years, the park estimates four bears have died as a result of hazing activities.

The park said it will review the incident to determine whether to make changes in training or the bear management program.

Print Article

Read More Front Page Slider

Pair charged after they’re allegedly found dealing heroin, meth

August 17, 2019 at 7:27 am | Hungry Horse News Kalispell police officers on Wednesday arrested Kevin Gaethle, 28, and Nicole Chappel, 19, for possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute. The arrests came after the Northwest Montana D...

Comments

Read More

Rockfall not without precedent on Going-to-the-Sun Road

August 16, 2019 at 7:55 am | Hungry Horse News Rocks falling onto the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park are far from a rare occurrence, but deaths from falling stones onto the road have only been recorded twice in the Park’s 109-year...

Comments

Read More

The Dark Side of Glacier, celebrated with new telescope

August 14, 2019 at 7:45 am | Lake County Leader Each evening, as the last rays of sunlight fade from the striking mountain views of Glacier National Park, the park begins to showcase another side of its natural beauty — a starry side. While most ...

Comments

Read More

City moving forward with River’s Edge Park plans

August 14, 2019 at 7:26 am | Lake County Leader The final draft of the master plan for the improvements to River’s Edge park will be released on the City of Columbia Falls website later this week, according to a press release from City Public Work...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 892-2151
PO BOX 189, 926 Nucleus Avenue
Columbia Falls, MT 59912

©2019 Hungry Horse News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X