Students warned after bear spotted on MSU campus

Posted at 3:53 PM, Sep 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-18 17:53:23-04

BOZEMAN – Bears and other wildlife make their way into Bozeman during the night at this time of year, looking for extra food.

And while it wasn’t a bobcat, Montana State University had a special visitor late Sunday evening. At about 11 p.m, a small black bear was seen on campus.

This isn’t the first time MSU has had animals wandering around on campus.

“When it does happen, we try to let the animals do their own thing unless they become a nuisance, then we will work with our partners at the FWP to help take care of those animals and help relocate them to a safer space,” MSU News Service Director Mike Becker said.

Once the bear was spotted on the south side of campus near Yellowstone Hall, MSU Police sent out an alert as a safety precaution.

“What we really don’t want is for someone to not know,” Becker said. “We want people to be aware that during this time of year, especially when an animal has been seen around campus, to sort of be aware of your surroundings when you’re walking around on campus, and we don’t want anyone to be caught by surprise. “

No one was injured in the spotting of the bear and it ended up making its way off campus on its own. Having these alerts is important for incidents like this one.

“We work with the Gallatin County Emergency Management to help send out those alerts,” Becker said. “We both use a system that can send text messages and automated voice calls and emails as well, and we can target those to just people on campus or if a larger incident were to occur, we can work with Gallatin County to get the message out to a larger audience.”

MSU was able to reach about 22,000 people with its alert about the bear on campus.

Even though many who received the alert may have not seen it until the next morning, MSU officials wanted the campus community to be aware of what had happened.

Reporting by Emma Hamilton for MTN News