On May 21, Idaho Fish and Game, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, euthanized a grizzly sow and yearling male after they became conditioned to food and increasingly searched for food sources. human food. The sow and foal began to frequent residential neighborhoods where they became accustomed to human food sources after receiving multiple food rewards from porches, unsecured garbage cans, and vehicles.
The grizzly sow was originally captured and relocated in 2020 following multiple feeding disputes. Subsequently, in 2021, the sow and her calf were involved in multiple conflicts where food rewards were obtained. This spring, the pair displayed similar behavior. Due to the couple’s reliance on human food and habituation to residential areas, they were captured and euthanized in the interest of human safety on May 21.
Since Island Park is home to both grizzly bears and black bears, residents and visitors are strongly encouraged to store all residential trash cans in a locked garage or shed. Garbage cans should only be taken out the morning of collection and not the day before.
Bears are extremely adaptable and can learn to associate people with food very quickly. The presence of unsafe human-made food sources, such as household garbage, birdseed, dog food, beehives, domestic poultry, or fruit trees, has long been documented as a source of human-bear conflict. . Food-conditioned bears can quickly lose their fear of humans, causing bears to approach people and ultimately endanger humans and bears.
Idaho grizzly bears are federally protected under the Endangered Species Act and management actions are therefore taken in consultation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.