Historically, what is now Missoula city and county was full of wild, open spaces, excellent habitat and bountiful wildlife including black and grizzly bears, moose, elk, deer, lynx as well as many other species. In the mid 1950s human development accelerated fracturing large portions of this habitat.
Bears are opportunistic omnivores, which means, they will eat most things that humans and our domestic animals eat as they come across these items. As bears walk amidst our urban environments they are sidetracked by unnatural food resources such as garbage, birdseed and horse grain, to name a few. Bears that receive these positive food rewards near people lose their fear of humans and become acclimated to living in close proximity to homes. These bears are “habituated”.
Learn more about the program and report bear problems. Visit www.missoulabears.org.