In 1987 the Montana Department of Fish & Game attempted to relocate an adult male grizzly bear that had been trapped alive after allegedly killing a cow on an Indian reservation near Kalispell, Montana. The bear was tranquilized, fitted with a radio collar and some ear tags, and the trap was put into the bed of a pickup truck and driven deep into the nearby Bob Marshall Wilderness, where the bear was to be released.
Photographer Richard P. Smith accompanied Department employees, including state game warden Lou Kis, on the release, in order to document the event with his camera. Such releases are fairly common, and in all previous instances the bears being relocated had run away as soon as they were let out of their traps. But this time something went wrong.
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