Yes, it’s Montana! Grizzlies Spotted in the Northern Bitterroot
It's not like you have to travel to Yellowstone to see the Bears! You can catch sight of a brown bear almost anywhere in Montana, but grizzlies in the northern Bitterroot? One of my neighbors told me that they thought they had spotted a small bear that sure looked like a grizzly along the Bitterroot river while they were rafting earlier this August. It was at a distance but they thought it was too shaggy looking for a black bear. Lolo is not unused to seeing animals from the river venturing into town.
Well, Hello There!
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks have said there have been sightings of two grizzly bears, both reported being young - around 2 years old possibly - spending time in the northern Bitterroot Valley this month.
In a story from NBCmontana FWP officials are saying they were most recently reported on the east side of the valley, in the river bottoms, and at the edge of the Sapphire Mountains near Florence and Lolo. They say the bears are becoming curious about their surroundings, often leading them to new areas, so humans should be aware. The story quotes Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks bear specialist, Jamie Jonkel, who said “We have established populations of grizzly bears to the northwest and southeast of us, so seeing bears moving through the greater Missoula area and Bitterroot is becoming more common.”
Good Time for a Ramble
The story goes on to say the cubs wandered over to the west side of the Bitterroot valley crossing highway 93 for a bit but liking the Sapphires more and were last reported back in the river south of Lolo on August 18 where, BTW, tracks of a possible third grizzly bear may have been seen.
Brown bears are pretty common this time of year. We even have what seems to be a resident along the Hip Strip downtown Missoula. The University of Montana had this one on campus!
Look for info on the "Bear Smart program" that will help keep you safer. Best keep your pic-a-nic baskets secure as the bruins are fattening up for the winter and looking for anything to put into that furry belly. Aren’t we all?