Bear Raiding Easy Food Sources in Wood River Valley Euthanized
HAILEY, Idaho(KLIX)-A young bear that got used to getting food from residential garbage cans, bird feeders, and bee hives in the Wood River Valley had to be put down by state wildlife managers earlier this week.
According to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the juvenile bear had raided several garbage bins left out during the night and bird feeders in the area of East Fork, near Hailey in the course of a few weeks and became food-conditioned to the food sources. Conservation officers said they bear quickly learned that they were easy food sources, especially now that its natural food supply may be limited by dry conditions in Idaho.
Officers also noticed garbage cans have continued to be left out during the night. Residents in the Wood River Valley had been advised not to leave bins out during the spring as the bears began to come out of hibernation. Brandyn Hurd, Senior Conservation Office in the Ketchum area said in a prepared statement, “After receiving reports of bears in the East Fork area we immediately contacted area residents and urged them to store their garbage containers in a secure area, like a garage, and to take down bird feeders which provide a steady food reward to bears. Unfortunately, this bear continued to receive a food reward from residential garbage containers and also learned that beehives can provide a high-calorie food source."
Fish and Game typically does not relocate bears that have become accustomed to foods from human sources saying it only moves a problem to a different area and they often return to the original area.