BILLINGS, Mont. — Wildlife managers have euthanized 24 grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem so far this year, the highest number in the past five years.
Most of the bears, which are a protected species under federal law, had killed livestock or had become habituated to human food sources, according to information posted on the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team’s website.
There’s no one specific reason for this year’s increase, which comes after two years of relatively few grizzly bear euthanizations, said Frank van Manen, supervisory wildlife biologist and leader of the team.
But factors that influence the situation include a larger population of bears pushing to the fringes of its core recovery area and a reduction in the availability of natural food sources.