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Wildlife officials determine fate of predatory Grizzly

STATE FISH, WILDLIFE & PARKS BEAR MANAGEMENT SPECIALIST MIKE MADEL MADE THE TRIP TO THE BRITISH COLOMBIA BORDER TODAY, WEST OF GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, WITH A 4-YEAR OLD FEMALE GRIZZLY BEAR AND HER CUB IN TOW.  THE MOTHER GRIZZLY IS BLAMED FOR KILLING 70 SHEEP ON 3 LOCAL RANCHES.

MADEL SAYS THE DECISION TO RE-LOCATE AS OPPOSED TO EUTHANIZE WAS MADE THIS (MONDAY) MORNING AND EVEN THOUGH THE U-S FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE HAS A  POLICY OF 3-STRIKES YOU’RE OUT FOR  FEDERALLY PROTECTED GRIZZLY BEAR’S, MADEL SAYS IF THIS ONE RETURNS, A SECOND STRIKE WOULD BE ALL IT GETS BECAUSE OF THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE DEPREDATION.

MIKE HOGGAN OF THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE WILDLIFE SERVICES WAS QUOTED IN THE G.F. TRIBUNE SUNDAY SAYING THIS IS THE WORST THING HE’S EVER SEEN AND THAT THE GRIZZLY WAS DOING THIS FOR FUN.

MADEL TOLD KSEN THIS (MONDAY) MORNING THAT THE GRIZZLY AND HER CUB WERE BEING TAKEN TO AS CLOSE TO THE B.C. BORDER AS POSSIBLE IN HOPES THAT SHE WILL NOT RETURN AND ESSENTIALLY SAVE HER OWN LIFE.

MADEL NOTED THAT THE GRIZZLY WAS ONLY 302 POUNDS, NOT IN THE GREATEST SHAPE AND MAY HAVE A DIFFICULT TIME SURVING IN THE RELOCATION SITE WITH OTHER GRIZZLIES.   AT  JUST OVER 4-YEARS OLD, MADEL NOTED, SHE MAY BE THE YOUNGEST FEMALE ON RECORD FOR GIVING BIRTH TO A CUB.

HE ALSO SAID THAT HE HAS HEARD FROM THE DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE WHO SAY THEY LIKELY WILL GIVE FULL REIMBURSEMENT TO THE THREE RANCHES……THE JONES RANCH- SOUTHWEST OF CONRAD, WHERE THE BULK OF THE KILLINGS OCCURRED…THE KAUFMAN RANCH AND THE NEW MIAMI COLONY,  FULL REIMBURSEMENT FOR THEIR LOSSES.

IN DETERMINING TO RE-LOCATE THE FEMALE GRIZZLY, MADEL SAID THEY DID TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THAT THERE HAS BEEN NO PREVIOUS HISTORY OF CONFLICT.

IT WAS ALSO NOTED THAT NOT ALL OF THE ANIMALS WERE KILLED BY THE GRIZZLY DIRECTLY.   SOME WERE TRAMPLED BY OTHER SHEEP AS THEY TRIED TO FLEE FROM THE PREDATOR.

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