Wayward griz shows how bears use the land, get in trouble

Editor’s note:

This story is part of the Lee Enterprises series “Grizzlies and Us.” The project examines the many issues surrounding the uneasy coexistence of grizzly bears and humans in the Lower 48, which have come  into focus in recent years as the federallyprotected animal pushes farther into human-occupied areas. The 10-part series, comprised of more than 20 stories, was produced by outdoor reporters and photojournalists across the Rocky Mountain West.

 

In a late August press release, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ western bear specialist, Jamie Jonkel, warned: “We’ve had enough confirmed grizzly bears to remind us to expect grizzly bears anywhere in the western half of Montana.”

Lingenpolter’s trying to prove it.

Weighing about 360 pounds at the time of his mug shot, the 4- or 5-year-old male grizzly bear is an explorer, a renegade, and a repeat offender with an uncertain future.

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He’s also a guide of sorts, showing bear managers and landowners where a young male grizzly bear might go and what trouble he might get into as the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem population expands towards the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem population.

His name comes from the Lingenpolter township where he first got

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