Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks officials have been working for the last several weeks managing bears as they prepare for winter.

Region One Information Education and Program Manager Dillon Tabish described several bears that had to be relocated after getting into places where they shouldn’t be.

“We had a family group of bears that was getting into some garbage east of Whitefish just outside of town,” said Tabish. “We originally thought this might be a black bear based on the original report, but it turned out to be a female grizzly and a couple of cubs, so our bear managers captured those bears in culvert traps and moved them up the North Fork. We had a bear down by Ovando that got into some garbage and was moved up near Marias Pass.”

Tabish said bears are especially fond of fruit, and will gorge themselves when they find it.

“Bears love fruit and if a bear comes in and gets used to eating those apples or pears, they’re going to keep coming back until they’re gone,” he said. “We really need folks to clean up those attractants.”

Tabish advises homeowners not to try to deal with problem bears on their own.

“Always contact Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks if a bear is ever too close to your property,” he said. “Obviously, you never want to approach a bear. If you can, from inside your home try to make a bunch of noise and scare it away, but leave that up to the professionals. Contact FWP and we’ll come out and assess the situation. Bears don’t want anything to do with humans, and as soon as they’re in a place they shouldn’t be, they’ll try to get out of there and nine times out of ten that’s what happens.”