Grizzly's 2,800-Mile Ramble Through Idaho, Montana Has Wildlife Managers Puzzled

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The Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem's Interagency Grizzly Bear subcommittee met in Missoula, Mont., on Tuesday. And while that's a mouthful, wildlife managers were hard pressed to put into words how a grizzly bear rambled nearly 3,000 miles in Idaho and Montana.

This morning's Missoulian reports that the female grizzly traveled from Coeur d'Alene, past Florence and Missoula, Mont., and eventually made her way to Eureka by way of Glacier National Park. The journey took her about three years.

“The one thing we can say is this was not representative of normal bear movement, and certainly not female grizzly bear movement,” Chris Servheen, grizzly bear recovery program coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, told the Missoulian. “She had some really bizarre travels.”

The grizzly, named Ethyl, spent time along the northern fringe of the Bitterroot Mountains, near Wallace, Kellogg and Coeur d'Alene in Idaho's Panhandle and reached the southern fringe of Missoula and on to Lolo, Mont., then traveled back to Coeur d'Alene and back again to Missoula, through Glacier National Park and west to Eureka.

"That's a total distance of 2,800 miles," said Servheen.