Tuesday, July 23, 2024
 
Click HERE to sign up to receive Eye On Sun Valley's Daily News Email
 
Black Bears Find Easy Pickings in Greenhorn
Loading
   
Wednesday, June 19, 2024
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

A black bear sow with two cubs has been getting fat on the food scraps thrown away by the residents of Greenhorn Gulch south of Ketchum.

A local homeowner reported the uninvited diners to Idaho Fish and Game on Saturday, June 15, after bears hanging around his home triggered many security camera alerts. The sow and her two cubs weren’t as interested in socializing with the homeowner as they were in an unsecured garbage cart in the driveway.

Fish and Game officers investigated and found signs of the bears around the home with a large amount of residential garbage on the ground, some of which the bears had munched on.

Fish and Game officials are concerned that the bears are quickly becoming food conditioned after gaining easy access to unsecured residential garbage. Once a bear associates a food reward with a residential garbage cart, it’s extremely difficult to reverse that behavior.

Officers provided safety information to nearby homes and asked homeowners to secure their garbage in their garages until the morning of pickup.

Every resident in the Wood River Valley should secure their garbage in a garage or locked shed to prevent black bears from becoming food-conditioned, said Terry Thompson.

“When bears are accessing residential garbage that means every resident needs to change their behavior to keep bears from becoming food conditioned,” said Mike McDonald, regional wildlife manager. “We urge all Wood River Valley residents to do their part by securing their garbage in a locked shed or garage. It is our priority to keep our residents and visitors safe and our wildlife wild.”

Bears immediately begin to forage for food to replenish their fat reserves as they emerge from their winter hibernation in spring, said Thompson. They’re not in the market for Ozempic—they’re on a quest to eat between 15,000 and 20,000 calories a day.

In other words, their life’s mission is pretty much looking for food.

They find some nourishment in spring grasses. But they’re happy to try anything that will help replenish the body weight they’ve lost while hibernation. Male black bears usually lose 15 percent to 30 percent of their weight during hibernation, while sows with cubs can lose up to 40 percent.

They have a keen sense of smell –believed to be seven times bigger than a bloodhounds—so they can smell that leftover pizza homeowners dump in their garbage from miles away.

“Keeping residential garbage out of reach of a bear can significantly reduce the chances of a bear becoming food-conditioned,” said senior conservation officer Brandyn Hurd. “We all know the end result when a food-conditioned bear becomes a public safety issue.”

To keep Wood River Valley bears wild:

Use a bear-resistant garbage container when possible.

Keep all household garbage secured in a garage or other enclosed area.

Put your garbage cart curbside on the morning of pickup, NOT the night before.

Leftovers or discarded fish or meat bones give off a strong odor and should be stored in your freezer until the day of garbage pickup.

Keep attractants, like BBQ grills, birdseed and pet food stored where bears cannot access them.

Bird feeders should be taken down May through October since bears can gain a tremendous number of calories from birdseed. One pound of black oil sunflower seeds offers 2,500 calories; 32 ounces of hummingbird food, 3,200.

Put an electric fence wire around chicken coops and beehives.

Those who spot a bear in their neighborhood should haze the bear with loud yelling, clapping their hands or banging on pot and pans to let it know it’s not welcome. Otherwise, bears learn that taking daily walks around a house is acceptable and potentially rewarding if they find food.

Learn more at the Wood River Valley Wildlife Smart Communities website at https://wrvwildlifesmart.org/black-bears/

Questions? Contact the Magic Valley Regional Office of Idaho Fish and Game at 208-324-4359.

~  Today's Topics ~


Sawtooth Society Honors Redfish Lake Lodge Owner as Wildfire Threatens the Lake

Footlight Dance Center Celebrates 40 Years with Performance by Idaho Dance Theatre and Other Professionals

A Chorus Line-Teen Edition Opens Wednesday
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Website problems? Contact:
Michael Hobbs
General Manager /Webmaster
Mike@EyeOnSunValley.com
 
Got a story? Contact:
Karen Bossick
Editor in Chief
(208) 578-2111
Karen@EyeOnSunValley.com
 
 
Advertising /Marketing /Public Relations
Leisa Hollister
Chief Marketing Officer
(208) 450-9993
leisahollister@gmail.com
 
Brandi Huizar
Account Executive
(208) 329-2050
brandi@eyeonsunvalley.com
 
 
ABOUT US
EyeOnSunValley.com is the largest online daily news media service in The Wood River Valley, publishing 7 days a week. Our website publication features current news articles, feature stories, local sports articles and video content articles. The Eye On Sun Valley Show is a weekly primetime television show focusing on highlighted news stories of the week airing Monday-Sunday, COX Channel 13. See our interactive Kiosks around town throughout the Wood River Valley!
 
info@eyeonsunvalley.com      Press Releases only
 
P: 208.720.8212
P.O. Box 1453 Ketchum, ID  83340
LOGIN

© Copyright 2023 Eye on Sun Valley