On Monday afternoon, someone called Glacier National Park and reported that a black bear was in the Many Glacier Campground. GNP Spokesperson Lauren Alley says rangers initially responded around 4:45 pm.

“Rangers responded and began hazing, which in this case was shouting and clapping,” Alley said. “Those are the first steps they take when they want to move a bear out of the area. That didn’t work so rangers used a rubber projectile and that inadvertently pierced the bear’s abdomen. Rangers and a wildlife biologist determined that that was a mortal injury. The bear needed to be put down so that it didn’t suffer.”

After removing people from nearby campsites, Alley says rangers fired a second shot from a shotgun to euthanize the bear. According to Alley, hazing is a technique used to push bears out of developed places and into areas where natural behavior and foraging can occur.

“It can include yelling, clapping, horns, those types of things,” Alley said. “Honking your horn is a good way to tell a bear that it should leave, but sometimes those things don’t work so rangers use other things like beanbag rounds or rubber projectile rounds to push bears out of an area.”

Alley says hazing occurs every single day in Glacier National Park and that hazing mortalities are uncommon. In the last 15 years, the park estimates four bears have died as a result of hazing activities.