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Sat May 25, 2019, 07:20 PM

Grizzlies on the move in US Rockies as hunting in limbo

BILLINGS, Mont. Grizzly bears are expanding their range in the U.S. Northern Rockies, spreading from remote wilderness into farmland amid a legal fight over proposed hunting.

New government data from grizzly population monitoring show bruins in the Yellowstone region of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho expanded their range by about 1,500 square miles (3,900 square kilometers) over the past two years.

They now occupy almost 27,000 square miles (69,000 square kilometers), a range that has grown 34 percent in the past decade.

That means more bears on private lands where they can encounter humans and attack livestock, said Frank van Manen with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Run-ins with bears are happening in agricultural areas where the fearsome animals hadn't been seen for decades, raising tensions in communities over the grizzly's status as a federally protected species in the U.S. outside Alaska.

"Not all grizzly bears are livestock killers, but of course it only takes a few to do potentially quite a bit of killing," van Manen said.

Wyoming and Idaho officials proposed grizzly hunts last year, but they were blocked by a judge's ruling.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/grizzlies-on-the-move-in-us-rockies-as-hunting-in-limbo/ar-AABUlpC?li=BBnbfcL

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