Black Bear in Big Sky, Montana Euthanized After Stealing Pizza off Woman’s Plate

Tahoe bear chug
Secure your trash! Photo: Chad Lundquist

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is reporting a female black bear needed to be euthanized after a long series of encounters with humans. The bear had become so conditioned to people that it went as far as stealing a slice of pizza from a woman’s plate while she sat at an outdoor table in Big Sky.

Unfortunately, this was not the only offense for the 185 pound bear.  It had been regularly attacking trash cans, trying to enter buildings, harassing pedestrians, and even casually hanging outside the door of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s office where it was repeatedly hazed with rubber bullets.

The bear was eventually capured on September 23rd and humanely euthanized. “This bear was a textbook example of being habituated and conditioned to receiving food rewards from humans,” said FWP Warden Ben Gleason.  Securing animal feed, garbage, and other attractants is the best way to avoid conflict and prevent bears from being relocated or put down.