On the morning of July 21, a 2.5-year-old grizzly bear emerged from a culvert trap, stepped into the sunlight and entered the rugged Cabinet Mountains near the Montana-Idaho border.
The 120-pound male marked the latest addition to a small-but-growing population of grizzly bears in the far northwest corner of Montana, known as the Cabinet-Yaak Ecosystem. It was the 20th grizzly bear moved to the Cabinet-Yaak Ecosystem through an augmentation program that began in 1990 in an effort to save the population and boost genetic diversity. The last augmentation into the ecosystem occurred in 2016.
This latest grizzly bear did not have any prior conflicts with humans. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks staff, in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, captured it recently in a remote area near Stryker Basin in the Stillwater State Forest.
It was fitted with a GPS radio collar for future monitoring. It was released in a remote area west of Spar Lake in the Kootenai National Forest south of Troy.