KETCHUM, Idaho (KLIX)-Idaho wildlife officials say a poisonous plant to wildlife continues to be a problem as a moose fell victim to the decorative shrub last week. According to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, a bull moose was found dead in someone's backyard on Jan. 17 after it ate the deadly ornamental yew, often planted as a decorative plant for landscaping. Blaine County banned the use of yew for landscaping several years ago, yet it continues to be found and eaten by wildlife.

Idaho Fish and Game says Yew Should be Removed from Yards

Idaho Fish and Game say residents should check their landscaping for the plant and remove them to keep wildlife and pets safe. According to Regional Wildlife Manager Mike McDonald landowners need to be aware of the types of vegetation they purchase and plant on their properties. “I realize that it’s hard to dig up mature landscaping but everyone needs to do the right thing for wildlife, and even to protect your pets, by removing plants like exotic yew. It takes a surprising small amount of yew to kill an elk, deer or moose, which are all species that residents can see throughout the valley, almost daily.” If the plant cannot be removed right away it should be fenced off or covered to prevent animals from getting to it.

Toxic Yew Deaths are More Common in the Winter as Animals Move to Lower Ground

The plants are evergreen and stay that way during the winter which may be why it is more common for the animals to eat and die during the cold season, according to Idaho Fish and Game. The agency said between 2021 and 2022 more than 20 elk died from eating the toxic plant. The plant is not only deadly to wildlife if eaten but domestic animals like horses, cows, dogs, cats, and even humans.

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