The University of Montana emailed students late Tuesday (11/10) night to warn of a large bear on campus. The UM Police Department says they got a report of a bear encounter that happened near the University Center at about 11:10 p.m. on Tuesday. The report was of a large bear on campus near the UC and was also seen in the area around the Prescott House. Officers are monitoring the situation, you are advised to stay clear of this area, Fish, Wildlife & Parks has been notified.

UMPD encourages people as they start their daily activities to be “Bear Aware”.  Please call UMPD at (406) 243-4000 in the event you encounter a bear.  Below are some safety tips for bear encounters, as provided by the U of M in last night's email alert.

  • Bears that are agitated may appear to be non-threatening or passive at first.
  • Bears that are agitated may snap or pop their jaws and make a woofing sound.
  • Do not run. This may incite a predatory chase response.
  • Continue to face the bear and back away slowly, talking calmly to identify yourself as a human.
  • If the bear continues to approach, try to scare it away by making yourself as large and imposing as possible by stretching your arms overhead and making loud noises.

You can find more educational information about bears and bear encounters by visiting the US Forest Service “Be Bear Aware” webpage.