BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Grizzly bear deaths approached record levels for the region around Yellowstone National Park in 2010, with an estimated 75 of the protected animals killed or removed from the wild.
That equals one dead grizzly for every eight counted in the sparsely populated Yellowstone region of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.
But government biologists say the population of just over 600 bears is healthy enough to withstand the heavy losses, blamed in part on bears pushing into inhabited areas as their numbers grow.
Most of the bears were killed by wildlife agents or hunters after attacking livestock, acting aggressively toward humans or damaging property.
An estimated 79 Yellowstone-area grizzlies died in 2008 - the most since they were listed as a threatened species in 1975.