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Mama Bear Dies, Cubs Relocated from Warm Springs
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Amy Johnson provided this picture of a mother bear and her two cubs walking through Ketchum’s Warm Springs neighborhood.
   
Wednesday, July 20, 2022
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

An aggressive mama bear that has terrorized Ketchum’s Warm Springs neighborhood has been euthanized.

Idaho Fish and Game personnel and law enforcement responded on Monday, July 18, to a call about a bear rooting in garbage cans. The bear had growled and snapped at a resident.

Officers found a large sow black bear in a tree with two cubs They fired a dart at it to sedate it, and it fell from the tree. The bear died from a combination of stress and the effects of the sedation.

 
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Idaho Fish and Game officials snapped this photo of a sow out on a limb just before she was darted, falling out of the tree.
 

Fish and Game staff would have euthanized the bear, anyway, because of its aggressive nature to humans, said Roger Phillips, public information supervisor for Idaho Fish and Game.

“Due to her aggressiveness toward people, we could not in good conscience release her and have her end up in someone else’s home or camp,” Magic Valley Regional Wildlife Manager Mike McDonald said.

Two cubs that were in the tree with the sow were captured and taken to Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary in McCall for rehabilitation. The cubs will be raised in a special pen that keeps them separated from humans, and McDonald said he hopes they can be released into the wild in late fall.

This was the second call in the past week that Idaho Fish and Game received about an aggressive bear in Warm Springs. The first incident occurred a block from this one, and ended with the bear charging a Ketchum homeowner.

Fish and Game officials suspect but can’t confirm that the same bear was involved in both incidents, said Phillips.

Warm Springs resident Linda Goldman said it was unnerving to have two aggressive bear incidents, to watch a mountain lion walk across her backyard and to have to help a woman out of the river after an innertube accident—all in one week.

“I feel like I am living in a zoo and I am in the cage,” she said. “This is crazy. In all our years here, I don’t remember anything like this. Or, we were totally naïve and lucky.”

Amy Johnson said residents must stop putting their trash out before pickup time.

“No wonder why the bear was pissing or growling—she’s protecting her cubs,” she said. “We live with bears. We need to make sure trash bins are not left out overnight and that we take recycling out first thing in the morning. We cannot be teaching bears to rummage through the trash.”

McDonald noted that despite repeated warnings, trash cans have repeatedly been left out overnight in the area, providing fast food for bears and other wildlife.

There have been a rash of reports of black bears honing in on people in southern Idaho this month.

On July 14 Fish and Game officers captured and euthanized a young male black bear at Stoddard Creek Campground near Dubois in Eastern Idaho after it raided garbage left out by careless campers. The fearless, food-conditioned bear had ripped open coolers and pushed on tents in search of food.

Fish and Game officers set up a bear trap near the North Fork campground near SNRA headquarters north of Ketchum after a food-conditioned bear damaged camping gear and attempted to get inside vehicles for easy food pickings. And a bear was reported to be raiding overflowing garbage dumpsters at Baumgartner Campground near Fairfield.

BIG CATS OUT AND ABOUT, TOO

While bears have been grabbing the headlines this month, mountain lions continue to make tracks across the Wood River Valley.

Patricia Lentz Felton captured this early morning video of a cougar walking through her yard near Starweather across the highway from The Heatherlands this past week.


 

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