Grizzly bear confirmed in North Moccasin Mountains near Lewistown

Tom Kuglin

Montana wildlife managers say they have confirmed the presence of a grizzly bear in the North Moccasin Mountains near Lewistown — the first documented grizzly in the range in recent years.

Bear tracks from the west side of the mountain range were reported to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks on April 29. An FWP grizzly bear management specialist visited the location on Saturday, April 30, and confirmed the 6 ¼-inch-wide tracks were made by a grizzly bear, the agency announced Tuesday.

“Having a grizzly bear in this area is not surprising after what we’ve seen the last few years in terms of bears moving further east into central Montana,” FWP regional supervisor Gary Bertellotti said in a statement.

Grizzly populations in Montana have expanded since listing under the Endangered Species Act in 1975. Bears have moved into new areas including increasing sightings on the plains east of the Rocky Mountain Front.

This is the first confirmation of a grizzly in the North Moccasin Mountains in recent years, FWP said in a news release. Last spring a grizzly bear was euthanized after killing cattle in the Big Snowy Mountains south of Lewistown. 

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