KALISPELL (AP) — Wildlife officials say a Pennsylvania man shot and killed a 500-pound grizzly bear while he was hunting for black bears in northwestern Montana.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Dillon Tabish said the adult male bear was killed May 20 on U.S. Forest Service land in the Swan Valley.
The hunter told game wardens that he mistakenly believed the animal to be a black bear. The grizzly was estimated to be about 18 years old.
Grizzlies are protected under federal law in northwestern Montana as a threatened species. Black bear hunters must pass a bear identification test before receiving their license.
Tabish said the case was turned over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and remains under investigation to determine if any penalties are warranted.