Growing numbers of grizzly bears venturing further east from the Rocky Mountains are attacking more Montana cattle and sheep.
The state's livestock loss program has reimbursed ranchers for 42 animals killed by grizzlies so far this year — eight more than in all of 2014.
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George Edwards of the Livestock Loss Board said Tuesday that one report came from as far east as Floweree, about 100 miles northeast of Helena.
Montana's Northern Rockies Wildlife Manager Graham Taylor says the number of animals killed this year amounts to a spike in an overall downward trend of grizzly attacks on livestock.
Taylor says measures taken over the last few years to electrify fences and fortify food storage have reduced the number of bear-livestock conflicts despite the growing number of grizzlies.