“High Alert” Bear Warning Issued for Rattlesnake Valley
The Rattlesnake Valley in Missoula, went to a “High Alert” status because of bears in the area today, September 1.
"The alert is just so folks living in the Rattlesnake will be very aware that a lot of bears are in the valley," said Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks bear specialist Jamie Jonkle. "Folks should be thinking about bears, they shouldn't be leaving garage doors open and shouldn't be leaving garbage out. They should pick up their apples if possible, and make sure their kids aren't running around on bikes near the creek in the little hidey-holes where its real brushy."
Jonkle says it’s normal to have around eight bears roaming through the Rattlesnake, but this year things are very, very different.
"Just in the Rattlesnake today I've had at least 15 calls," Jonkle said. "I can't begin to guess the total number, because some of the calls are repeat calls, but there have to be 20 or more bears living in the Rattlesnake area, because it's so dry... we just have a lot of bears coming in for the apples."
So far, only one bear appears to have been habituated to an urban environment and is going to be removed. Jonkle says the public should call FWP at 406-542-5500 if they notice bears up on porches, in garages, or rummaging through trash.