Captured grizzly bear cub will be transferred to a zoo

Posted at 6:46 PM, Sep 08, 2023

HELENA — A recently captured bear cub connected to a deadly attack in West Yellowstone in July is currently being held at FWP’s wildlife rehabilitation center in Helena.

“We want to see wildlife stay in the wild but given the circumstances that we are faced with this cub, this is a good outcome,” says Communication and Education Division Administrator for FWP, Greg Lemon.

The grizzly bear sow was euthanized on Saturday, September 2. This was the same bear that killed 48-year-old Amie Adamson of Kansas in July near West Yellowstone.

Additionally, the bear also injured a person in Idaho in 2020.

Wildlife managers attempted to trap the bear after Adamson's death but with no success.

That is until officials were tipped off a grizzly bear’s whereabouts after receiving a call that a bear with her cub broke into a house while the occupants were home and grabbed a container of dog food.

The 46-pound male cub was captured. The sow was euthanized.

Lemon says that it’s FWP policy to not rerelease grizzly bear cubs back into the wild once they’ve been captured by humans. He says the concern is that the cub may then feel too comfortable around humans thus possibly causing a bad interaction between the bear and people in the future.

“So far we've been very fortunate in finding zoo placement for grizzly bear cubs that have come through our facility,” says Lemon.

Lemon says that black bear cubs are different because black bears are typically much more afraid of humans than grizzly bears.

Currently, the cub is being held at FWP’s Montana WILD rehabilitation center in Helena, awaiting transportation to the Wildlife Safari zoo in Oregon.

“This sort of highlights just the need to continue to be aware of living in bear country,” says Lemon.

Lemon also wanted to remind folks, as this month is Bear Aware Month, to take extra precautions when going outside. For example, folks can do such things as be cautious and bring along bear spray and know how to use it, make noise, travel in groups, and store food indoors or in bear-resistant garbage cans.