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MISSOULA, Mont. — Wildlife officials say grizzly bears are beginning to wake up and depart from their winter dens across Western Montana.

The Missoulian reports that Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks department officials have sighted bear tracks, noted activity on radio collars and received a few eyewitness reports since the beginning of March.

Department bear management specialist Tim Manley says the state’s above-average snowpack this year is forcing the bears to enter the valley floors in search of food.

Department bear manager Jamie Jonkel says black bears are also on the move with sightings reported north of Missoula in the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area.


Information from: Missoulian,