State officials in Montana put down a grizzly bear that had entered a home in the Greater Yellowstone area last weekend.
On Saturday, a homeowner was terrorized by a grizzly and its cub breaking through a kitchen window to grab dog food. A local NBC affiliate reported the parent grizzly was shot by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks that night following consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
According to the state agency, officials were intimately familiar with the downed bear, which they say had a violent history.
“The 10-year-old female grizzly had originally been captured in 2017 for research purposes,” read a press release from the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. “Through genetic analysis and other identifying characteristics, staff confirmed the bear was involved in a fatal attack on a woman near West Yellowstone in July. The bear was also involved in an encounter in Idaho that injured a person near Henrys Lake State Park in Idaho in 2020.”
Government officials, however, ruled each encounter as “defensive responses.” The bear’s deadly attack on a 48-year-old Kansas woman in Yellowstone “did not appear to be predatory,” according to the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.
The 46-pound male cub involved in Saturday’s incident was taken to a wildlife rehab center in Helena until the bear is transferred to a zoo.
Grizzly bears have become a huge problem for western residents in recent years as the animals’ population exceeds recovery goals. Republicans in western states are now demanding federal officials delist the bear from its endangered status to allow local governments to oversee responsible wildlife management. In April, House Republicans advanced legislation brought by representatives from Wyoming and Montana to delist grizzlies in the Northern Continental Divide and Greater Yellowstone ecosystems.
Grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem alone jumped from 136 the year they were listed as endangered to an estimated 1,063 in 2021. The population is now more than double the 500 threshold required to lose their endangered status, according to the criteria outlined by the Fish and Wildlife Service.
“The goal of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for the Greater Yellowstone Grizzly has clearly been met and we should rightly return species management back to the State of Wyoming,” said Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyo., in the spring. “We cannot continue to allow activist courts or agency bureaucrats to block sound species management.”
Far-left policymakers, however, are fighting to keep protections in place despite the danger the bears present to rural landowners. Democrats have continued to oppose delisting efforts on Capitol Hill.
Cat Urbigkit, an award-winning author and photographer who operates a sheep ranch in western Wyoming and wrote Return of the Grizzly: Sharing the Range with Yellowstone’s Top Predator, told The Federalist last month it’s “naive to think that grizzlies should just be fully protected rather than managed.”