Posted: Jan 11, 2013 1:36 PM
Updated: Jan 11, 2013 1:46 PM
BOZEMAN - A Big Sky man has been fined for feeding bears on his property.
Monroe Cameron attracted bears onto his property with large bowls of dog food, birdfeeders and buckets of berries, despite warnings from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Bears and other animals ate the food and began hanging around, drawing attention from construction workers who became concerned, according to a news release from Montana FWP.
After a warden investigated, Cameron was cited in September. This week, he pleaded guilty in Madison County Justice Court to unlawful supplemental feeding. He was fined $285.
Warden Gosse says in addition to the risks this type of activity poses to human safety it's also onerous to FWP staff and neighbors, and dangerous for the bears.
"Each year our bear specialists and wardens make routine trips to the Big Sky community to explain the importance of securing attractants. It may seem like common sense to some, but with others it requires constant reminders and potential citations. It's not fair to endanger other members of your community to get a close up view of wildlife," FWP said in the release.
Bear specialist Kevin Frey adds that habituating bears threatens their longevity. Bears that routinely have interaction with humans often have to be euthanized, and it's almost never a bear's fault.
Photo courtesy of FWP