Grizzly Bear That Killed 40 Sheep Put Down

Grizzly bears have long been a threat to cattle ranchers in the American northwest, but few are as destructive as one bear who recently slaughtered 40 sheep on a Montana ranch. 

The same bear had killed at least 10 sheep on the same ranch last year before being tranquilized and relocated along with her cubs to the North Fork of the Flathead River and had been tracked heading into Canada and then back into the Valier area where the sheep were killed. 

But the bear apparently came back. And although bears usually get three strikes, this incident was so severe that wildlife authorities took quick action to shoot it.

The attacks occurred over the Memorial Day weekend. On Sunday, rancher Don Sporleder found several dead ewes and his prized ram, which looked to have been chased over a fence and then killed. Many of the other lambs were missing or just body parts were left behind.

Determining that this bear needed to be removed, wildlife officials set out to track the sow and she was shot and killed near Lake Frances on Tuesday evening, according to KRTV.

The incident comes just as the local community had been addressing a rise in conflicts with bears this spring. A town meeting was recently called after at least 15 conflicts between grizzly bears and livestock so far this year, according to the Great Falls Tribune.

Photo credit: Stock photo Creative Commons