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Chickens are new challenge for bear managers

By Associated Press
Published On: May 31 2013 11:44:55 AM MDT
KALISPELL, Mont. -

State grizzly bear manager Tim Manley has spent years educating residents of northwestern Montana to secure their garbage, bird feeders and other items that might attract grizzly bears. This spring, his focus has turned to helping residents protect chickens.
    
Manley is a grizzly bear management specialist with the state Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. He estimates about 100 chickens have been killed by grizzly bears in the Flathead Valley this year. He says at one point this spring, there were at least 14 grizzly bears in the valley. Three have been captured and relocated.
    
Manley has helped residents set up seven electric fences to protect chickens over the past three weeks.
    
Manley spoke Thursday to a panel of wildlife and land managers in Hungry Horse.