BOISE, Idaho — A grizzly sow and her cubs were euthanized by Idaho Fish and Game officers, after they became habituated to an area near humans.
Officers euthanized the bears on Nov. 9 and 10, due to the potential risk posed by their comfort around humans. According to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), the bears showed little fear of humans and had begun frequenting the Tetonia area northwest of Driggs, near homes.
In a press release from IDFG, it stated that while euthanization is never a desired outcome, it was the only option in this situation. There were no sites the bears could be relocated to, and leaving the bears in the area posed too great a risk for the communities near Driggs.
The sow grizzly and the cubs first became a public safety concern this fall, when they began frequenting the residential areas near Mammoth hot springs and Yellowstone National Park.
The bears left that area and traveled to the Gardiner, Montana area, where they once again became a safety concern for humans as they foraged for food by homes.
All three bears were relocated on Oct. 17, to an area south of West Yellowstone, Montana. According to data from the sow grizzly's GPS collar, the bears traveled south and passed through Wyoming and Idaho, before spending the last few weeks in rural residential areas east of Tetonia.
IDFG officers said they spent a lot of time and effort tracking the bears since first arriving in the area on Oct. 28. Biologists and officers with IDFG visited with homeowners on a daily basis to alert them to the bears' presence. Staff also gave residents information about the proper way to store attractants to prevent bears from gaining access.
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