KETCHUM, Idaho (KLIX)-The Wood River Valley community has seen a recent rash of trashcans vandalized, not by anyone on two feet, but on four paws.

The Blaine County Sheriff's Office says bears have recently raided a number of residential garbage cans, specifically in areas around the North Fork campground, SNRA headquarters, Chocolate Gulch, and Eagle Loop.

The sheriff's office says the Idaho Department of Fish and Game has set out traps to catch and relocate the bin bullying bears.

So far, no person or pet has been hurt and the sheriff's office has suggested people wait and keep their trash bins secure until the day they're scheduled for pick up, so they are not left out overnight. People in the Ketchum area have also been told to consider getting bear proof garbage bins.

According to Idaho Fish and Game, an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 black bears roam the state and share space with humans. Bears have a exceptionally good nose that can smell food up to five miles away. Wildlife managers have provided a list of tips (or check out Living with Black Bears) for mountain residents to go by to avoid residential encounters with bears:

  • Keep trash in a bear-resistant container or in a secure enclosure, such as a garage
  • Ensure that bear-resistant containers are properly closed and latched; never tamper with the latching mechanism
  • Never leave trash outside overnight
  • Do not feed birds, including hummingbirds, between March and November
  • Keep pet foods inside at all times
  • Pick fruit promptly when it begins to ripen, and clean up any fallen fruit
  • Do not keep coolers, refrigerators, or freezers outside or on porches
  • Keep barbecue grills clean after use



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