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Idaho Fish and Game responds to black bear encounter involving hiker and dog

Idaho Fish and Game received reports of another black bear incident in a residential area south of Ketchum.

KETCHUM, Idaho —

Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) said they are continuing to see conflicts with black bears in the Wood River Valley. 

On Monday, IDFG received a report of a black bear incident in a residential area of East Fork, south of Ketchum. 

Conservation officers found that on Friday, July 22 a woman was walking her dog on a trail near her home when they encountered a black bear near the trail. The woman estimated the bear to be 120 pounds. After spotting the bear, the woman began walking backwards while talking to the bear. The women's dog, which was off the trail, engaged with the bear. 

The dog suffered several bite wounds that were later treated by a veterinarian. 

According to IDFG, the bear left the area, and it is unknown if the bear suffered any injuries. 

ISFG said that the incident did not result from unsecured garbage in neighborhoods, unlike several recent incidents in the area. Instead, the incident was a result of the bear living in its natural habitat, which is in close proximity to the rural residential area. The department will not attempt to trap the bear. 

"When a bear or any wildlife has direct contact with an unleashed pet in wildlands we tend to not take management actions against wildlife" according to Mike McDonald, Regional Wildlife Manager. "In many situations, wildlife and pets, especially dogs, don't mix, and can actually make an encounter rise to an attack or fight between the two. We don't want that to happen. Dog owners should be aware that they are responsible for their pets and their actions when recreating on public land." 

Residents are encouraged to be vigilant while outdoors to avoid any surprise encounters with bears. 

IDFG said that residents are encouraged to notify Magic Valley Region Fish and Game biologists if they encounter a bear in or near town at (208) 324-4359, or your nearest Fish and Game office. 

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