ISLAND PARK, Idaho —
Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG), in cooperation with the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, euthanized a grizzly sow and a yearling male cub on Saturday, May 21 in Island Park.
IDFG said that the two began frequenting residential neighborhoods where they became habituated to human food after acquiring food from porches, unsecured garbage cans, and vehicles.
The sow was initially captured and relocated in 2020 after multiple food-related incidents. In 2021, the sow and cub were involved in several more food-related conflicts. Then, this spring, the two continued similar behavior, according to IDFG. IDFG said that the two were captured and euthanized on Saturday in the interest of human safety.
IDFG said that because Island Park is home to grizzly and black bears, visitors and residents are encouraged to store all garbage containers inside a garage or locked shed, and that garbage containers should only be put out the morning of pick-up, not the night before.
IDFG went on to say that bears are highly adaptable and can quickly associate people with food. The presence of: garbage bins, birdseed, dog food, beehives, domestic poultry, and fruit trees; are well-documented sources of human and bear conflicts. Food conditioned bears can lose their fear of humans, leading to bears approaching people, putting both humans and bears at risk.
Grizzly bears in Idaho are federally protected under the Endangered Species Act and management actions are therefore done in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, according to IDFG.
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