One Grizzly - 70 Dead Sheep

Education & Training with REAZO

grizzly, montana"If you ever, ever, dare to stop a grizzly bear, You will never meet another grizzly bear." Mary Austin.


I LIVE IN MONTANA, spent most of my life here. It comes as no surprise to me that grizzly bears can be downright mean. Big and mean.

Those of us who have lived here long enough to understand the situation get just a bit tense when wandering into areas most often left to the grizzly. I have always told myself those hairs standing up on the back of my neck were just part of the wilderness experience.

I don't know how a grizzly may respond if I stumble across it in the wild. The one time it actually happened to me, it turned and ran, disappearing into the brush. For that, I consider myself a lucky man.


But even with the healthiest of respect for the bear, even though I clearly understand the grizzly can be a very bad actor, I was taken back by a story making the rounds about one grizzly in particular and the recent carnage it caused.

Apparently, over an eight day period earlier this month, one female grizzly killed something more than 70 sheep. Slaughtered them and walked away. Only bothered to eat two of them. The rest it killed just to kill them and left them lying where they fell.

According to an article from Fox News, the killing spree took place on three ranches outside Great Falls, one of Montana's largest cities. The sow was accompanied by a small cub during the attacks.

The sow and cub were located and tranquilized by wildlife managers on June 24. Since then the two reportedly have been moved about 160 miles away to a remote area near Frozen Lake in British Columbia. The adult's life was spared because she was caring for the cub and technically the grizzly is a threatened species.


The serial killer grizzly and her child, given another chance. It leaves me wondering ...

I wonder about the photos. It appears the sheep never even tried to get away. They just stood there together, waiting for the grizzly to go from one to another ... I'm just not sure what to think about that.

And, I wonder, if ever I need to travel to Frozen Lake, how best do I not look like a sheep?


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Comments (8)

Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

Grant,   That is such a bizarre story.  I can't imagine why the bear killed all the sheep and left them.  Its almost like the grizzly ate some crazy berries that made her go out of her mind for a day or two. 

Jun 29, 2012 12:10 AM
Angela Lyons
REAZO - Missoula, MT for home buyers and sellers.

Belinda - Thanks for the comment. Yeah, it just reminds me to remember I never know what a grizzly might be thinking. Bizarre is a good description. What a waste.

Jun 29, 2012 12:14 AM
Bill Carroll
Corcoran Real Estate - Westhampton, NY

That's some story Grant. Now I know where the adjective "grizzly" comes from!

Jun 29, 2012 12:24 AM
Linda Blumenthal
Hampton Crossing - Licensed Real Estate Salesperson - 631-466-4087 - Westhampton Beach, NY
NYS Licenced Real Estate Salesperson, CBR

Good morning Grant.  What a horrible story!  Those poor sheep!  There is absolutely no way I would ever want to venture into "Grizzly territory".

Jun 29, 2012 12:27 AM
Angela Lyons
REAZO - Missoula, MT for home buyers and sellers.

Bill - Thanks for commenting. yeah, grizzly seems appropriate, doesn't it? However, I have a hard time considering them "threatened." "Threatening," sure. "Threatened," I'm not so sure.

Jun 29, 2012 12:28 AM
Angela Lyons
REAZO - Missoula, MT for home buyers and sellers.

Linda - Grizzly Country is beautiful country. But yes, one does need to tread a bit carefully when there. Thanks for the comment.

Jun 29, 2012 12:29 AM
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Grant - That's very strange behavior, even for an animal as unpredictable as a grizzly. I've had a couple of encounters over the years - nothing very close, but uncomfortable nonetheless- and I never need to have another one. The black bears we have here are trouble enough.

Jun 29, 2012 12:32 AM
Angela Lyons
REAZO - Missoula, MT for home buyers and sellers.

Dick - you're right. It is strange behavior. Actually, I'm a bit surprised they let it live. It seems to have a bad habit. A not very close encounter is the best encounter when dealing with a grizzly I'm thinking. Thanks for commenting.

Jun 29, 2012 12:36 AM

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