Rise in bear-related chicken raids ruffling feathers of wildlife managers

This very interesting, if lengthy, article is not nearly as silly as it sounds. Turns out the rising interest in hobby farming is triggering some pretty serious bear conflicts. Bears like chicken and sweet corn just as much as humans do.

There are some great quotes here from a collection of highly irritated wildlife managers.

From today’s Missoulian . . .

More grizzly bears are keying in on unprotected chicken coops in western Montana, with increasingly deadly consequences – both for the bears and the pilfered poultry.

The rise in bear-related chicken raids is ruffling the feathers of state and federal wildlife managers who are forced to move or kill bears that receive a food reward, be it from a trash can, a fruit orchard or a bird pen. The conflicts are entirely avoidable, managers say, but it’s the responsibility of landowners to buck the disturbing trend…

“I sometimes get calls daily on chickens, whereas I used to never hear about it,” said Jamie Jonkel, FWP’s bear management specialist in Missoula. “Chickens are the new garbage. There are so many chickens on the landscape that it’s like having garbage cans with wings just tempting the bears.”

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