Glacier Male Black Bear Destroyed After Swiping Car

The NPS Morning Report says a male black bear in Glacier National Park was killed after it shredded shirts thrown at it and then swiped the car of a fleeing family.

The report says:
An aggressive male black bear was killed by park rangers on the morning of Sunday, May 29th, after it had exhibited predatory behavior towards a family on the previous evening.

Around 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, John Hayden and his three young sons traveled about a 100 yards into the woods at the pullout a half mile south of Avalanche and encountered a black bear. As the family tried to slowly back out of the area, the bear pursued them. The father tried to distract the bear by throwing a shirt towards it, but the bear shredded this shirt. Although Hayden then struck the bear repeatedly with another shirt, the bear continued its pursuit. After the young children hid under a vehicle, the bear began swiping under the car. Another visitor witnessed the bear’s aggressive behavior and used pepper spray to drive the bear back into the woods.

Rangers responded and closed the immediate vicinity for investigation. After consultation with a wildlife biologist and bear management specialists, the bear was targeted for removal. Rangers had previously attempted to move the bear from the roadside by use of rubber bullets and bean bags, but without success. On Sunday, rangers returned to the area and shot and killed the 185-pound male bear. The area was then reopened.

Although there is no evidence that the bear was conditioned to human food, the carcass will be sent to a state laboratory for a full forensic autopsy (necropsy). The park’s bear management guideline states that a black bear will be removed and/or destroyed if it receives human food or garbage, displays conditioned and/or habituated behavior towards people, causes property damage, and/or acts overly familiar with humans. The goal of Glacier’s bear management policy is to ensure a natural and free-ranging population of both grizzly and black bears. “Given this bear’s conditioned, aggressive, and predatory behavior, especially exhibited by swiping under the car, the bear had to be destroyed,” said chief ranger Steve Frye.
[Submitted by Public Affairs Office]