UPDATE 2/08: The Idaho Department of Fish and Game issued a correction to a comment a conservation officer made. The department said it would not be able to reimburse homeowners for the cost of removing Japanese Yew from their property. Fish and Game said they do not have the funds.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) Idaho wildlife officials say eight elk have died after eating a decorative shrub near Idaho Falls last week.

On Friday, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game confirmed the elk had died from eating the non-native Japanese Yew. The plant is high toxic to animals even in very small amounts. The latest deaths come after 50 pronghorn died near Payette and seven elk died near Boise this winter after eating the plant. Domestic cattle at the end of 2016 died near Burley after eating Japanese Yew as well. In most cases, the plant was used as a decorative piece around homes.

Wildlife officials say the plant stays green throughout the year and is attractive to animals who may not be starving. Idaho Fish and Game are asking homeowners near the edge of town to be aware if there is Japanese Yew on their property. Officials said they will help people identify the plant if needed.

To learn more about reducing the potential for conflict with wildlife from Japanese Yew, homeowners can call 208-525-7290.

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