2009-05-21 / Local & State

Grizzly Takes Shelter In Unfinished Apartment

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - A grizzly bear that was chased by border collies and sought shelter in the basement of a building under construction at a new Hutterite colony near Choteau has been relocated to the Rocky Mountain Front.

Mike Madel, a grizzly bear management specialist with the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, said he's never seen a grizzly bear hide in a building in his 25 years with the agency.

"He probably felt a lot safer in the basement,'' Madel said.

Madel said the bear showed up at the new Elk Creek Colony about 8 a.m. Friday. The cattle dogs chased the bear, which jumped through a doorway in the building and ran into the basement.

A group of men got within 10 to 15 feet of the bear and took pictures. Madel said the bear probably didn't charge because it was intimidated by the number of people.

Teresa Hofer, who was cooking for the workers at the new colony site, said, "It was actually pretty cool. He was just sitting there like a little teddy bear. He actually was cute.''

"They just didn't realize how dangerous it was,'' Madel said.

Game wardens tranquilized the bear, fitted it with a radio collar and released it on the Rocky Mountain Front.

"I honestly believe this bear will stay out of trouble,'' Madel said. "I don't expect him to return back to the colony.''

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