Skip to comments.Grizzly shot in Selway-Bitterroot
Posted on 09/12/2007 10:12:00 AM PDT by george76
For the first time in decades, people venturing into the sprawling Selway-Bitterroot ecosystem are going to be told to keep their eyes peeled for grizzly bears.
That change follows the killing of a large grizzly bear in a roadless area of north-central Idaho, where the last confirmed sighting of the species came in 1946.
The grizzly was shot Sept. 3 by a Tennessee hunter near Kelly Creek, about three miles from the Montana border.
The bear was a young 400- to 500-pound male that was between 6 and 9 years old, said Chris Servheen, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's grizzly bear recovery coordinator.
It was dark-colored with golden silver tips, Servheen said. It was very visibly a grizzly bear. The hunter was very regretful. It was shot in a place where he wasn't expecting to encounter a grizzly.
There's been no documentation of a grizzly bear there for more than 60 years, he said.
It's hard to tell where the bear came from or how long it had been there.
The area is excellent grizzly bear habitat, Servheen said. The bear could have been there for a long period of time without anyone knowing it was there.
Both federal and state wildlife managers are already making plans to let people know they might encounter a grizzly bear, and to emphasize that the bears remain protected under the Endangered Species Act in this area.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lifted Endangered Species Act protections for grizzlies in and around Yellowstone National Park this spring. But the dead bear wasn't part of that population.
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