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Wallaroo at large after grizzly kills llama near Whitefish

by CHAD SOKOL
Daily Inter Lake | May 28, 2021 4:05 PM

A bear, believed to be a grizzly mother with a yearling in tow, broke into a property owner's barn Thursday night in the Haskill Basin area north of Whitefish, killing a llama and unleashing six wallaroos, according to a spokesman for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Five wallaroos were recaptured and the sixth remained at large around 5 p.m. Friday, spokesman Dillon Tabish said. NBC Montana shared a video taken by a neighbor showing one wallaroo — a marsupial native to Australia that's typically bigger than a wallaby but smaller than a kangaroo — hopping along a road in the Haskill Basin area.

Tabish said state wildlife officials, including a game warden and a bear specialist, were searching for the grizzly and the missing wallaroo after the barn break-in occurred along Northwoods Drive.

He said officials are familiar with the grizzly and have been attempting to trap her for several weeks, as she recently killed several sheep and goats belonging to other residents of the area. He said the bear is particularly skittish around people.

"Good reminder that Montana is bear country," Tabish said on Twitter. "Be bear aware. Carry bear spray. Secure food attractants. Make noise on the trail and travel in groups."

Assistant editor Chad Sokol may be reached at 406-758-4439 or csokol@dailyinterlake.com.