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Grizzly bear dies after being hit by pickup truck near Choteau

Posted at 4:03 PM, May 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 14:51:57-04

A grizzly bear died after being hit by a pickup truck about two miles south of Choteau on Tuesday.

According to the Choteau Acantha, Teton County Sheriff Keith Van Setten says that a man was driving a mid-sized pickup when he struck a bear that was crossing US Highway 89 at about 9:50 p.m.

The man was not injured, but his pickup sustained “extensive damage.”

Mike Madel, grizzly management specialist with Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, estimated the grizzly was a five-year-old male and probably weighed between 400 and 500 pounds.

Madel said that the bear was struck near where the highway crosses the Teton River and was probably walking in the riparian corridor. The bear died in a nearby driveway.

FWP warden Brett Logan took the bear’s carcass back to Region 4 Headquarters in Great Falls.

Madel said the bear was captured two years ago on the Pine Butte Swamp Preserve for research, and it had no known conflicts with humans or livestock.

Even though grizzlies are currently listed as a threatened species and protected by the Endangered Species Act, Madel said there is no penalty for accidentally killing a bear in a vehicle collision.

Click here to read more at the Choteau Acantha website