Montana wildlife officials have euthanized two young grizzly bears who were caught killing chickens and damaging property.

The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials stated that an adult female bear was first sighted killing livestock at a property near Whitefish Lake. They failed to capture the adult bear, but two younger bears, each of them weighing about 120 pounds, were held by traps and captured.

The officials claimed they first captured the three bears last fall after they killed chickens near Whitefish. They moved them to another area, but the bears managed to return to the place and caused extensive property damage.

The state wildlife officials urge residents to do their part to avoid such circumstances – like using an an electric fence to keep the bears out, or to put garbage out on the morning on its time of pickup and not the night before so bears would not have the time to have access to them.

Dillon Tabish, spokesman of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, said euthanizing an animal is never easy. He explained that once a bear learned how to eat domestic chickens, it stops foraging for food in the wild – thus creating a “habituated bear” that may be unsafe for humans.

“When our bear managers decide what to do with a bear they look at a number of factors,” Tabish explained. “They look at the intensity of the conflict, they look at if this bear has a history of conflict, if it’s been a repeat offender. It looks at what its chances of succeeding, so to speak, will be.”

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