GREAT FALLS – On Sunday, July 15, at about 11:30 pm, rangers in Glacier National Park discovered a partially paralyzed grizzly bear that had apparently fallen about 20 feet onto the road near Rim Rock, one mile west of Logan Pass.
A press release from the park says that the bear sustained severe traumatic injuries.
After consulting with the park’s wildlife biologist, rangers euthanized the bear.
The National Park Service conducted a necropsy and found significant trauma to the bear’s thoracic vertebrae, broken ribs, and a dislocated hip.
The non-lactating female bear was estimated to be between five and seven years old, and appeared to be in otherwise good health.
Rangers initially thought the bear had been hit by a car, but evidence showed that the bear had slipped off an overhanging precipice and landed on its back in the road.
Park officials notified the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as required by law, since the grizzly bear is listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, and informed Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks of the incident.
There are an estimated 300 grizzly bears in Glacier National Park.