Trio of grizzly bears scavenges fruit orchards above Flathead Lake
Three grizzly bears that were recently caught on home security footage have been identified by CSKT Fish and Wildlife as a group of 2-year-old siblings.
Stacy Courville, the carnivore management wpecialist for CSKT Fish and Wildlife, says the young grizzlies are attracted to fruit orchards in the Finley Point area near Polson.
“They were on the reservation at Yellow Bay. They then moved to Finley Point, and they’ve been walking through yards, getting in orchards the whole time,” Courville said. “They haven’t been aggressive. They haven’t done anything else that would constitute us setting traps for them.”
The trio was last spotted two miles south of Yellow Bay.
“They haven’t been aggressive or anything like that, and they’ve responded well to noise and scare devices,” Courville said. “We are encouraging people not to tolerate them during the daytime in their yards, grazing or whatever they are doing.”
Officials are hoping that no action will be needed with managing the bears, unless they come across livestock, which could happen, but it’s not likely.
“If they got into some domestic livestock, chickens, or sheep, or goats. So far, they haven’t shown a tendency to do that and that’s usually a learned behavior, but they are old enough now that they could take sheep down, for instance, and they’ve been around sheep.” Courville said. “A lot of these orchard growers have sheep to manage the grass in their orchards.
CSKT Fish and Wildlife are asking anyone that sees these three grizzlies to contact them immediately.