Idaho Officials Forced To Kill Grizzly

Idaho Fish & Game Department, Bear Hunting Magazine

Over the weekend, trappers from USDA Wildlife Services along with assistance from the Idaho Department of Fish & Game euthanized a three-year old female grizzly that had come out of hibernation and originally started getting into garbage cans in a subdivision near the Idaho/Wyoming border outside of Driggs, Idaho.

The bear had been relocated last year after becoming habituated to apple orchards on the North Fork of the Shoshone River in Wyoming. Compounding the problem of the bear's addiction to human related foods was the fact that local residents had not been complying with a bear sanitation ordinance that went into effect for Teton County last year. The bear had lost all fear of people and out of concern for human safety officials were authorized to remove of the bear.

As stated from a IDFG Regional Wildlife Manager, "While the Yellowstone Ecosystem is a big place, there is no where you can put a problem bear without the chance of it getting back into trouble." The fact that the bear had become habituated to human related foods meant that it was likely to run into problems no matter where it might have been released, but the fact that residents were failing to follow the guidelines of the bear sanitation order regarding the storage of garbage cans accelerated the bear's downfall.

The Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan requires that bears be relocated within the state that they were captured in when causing problems. This bear had been released in Wyoming near Squirrel Meadows, but had spent the fall and even denned for the winter in Idaho. Earlier in the week, IDFG had been working with WGF (Wyoming Game & Fish) to attempt to capture the bear after it would retreat into the foothills of Wyoming after several nights of raiding in Idaho, where it also seemed to develop a taste for foam rubber products like hot tub covers and cars seats. Once the sow decided to food shift to a diet of domestic piglets, chickens and bee hives the IDFG was able to request the assistance of USDA Wildlife Services trappers.

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