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Second grizzly euthanized after repeated livestock attacks

Hagadone News Network | September 15, 2022 1:00 AM

NAPLES — A large adult male grizzly bear was euthanized Monday after repeated livestock attacks. It is the second grizzly bear to be euthanized in Boundary County in 2022.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services made the decision to euthanize the grizzly near the town of Naples.

Throughout the spring and summer there have been a series of livestock injured, killed or missing due to grizzly bears across Boundary County.

Fish and Game received a report on Thursday, Sept. 8, of a missing sheep near Naples, T.J. Ross, Fish and Game regional communications manager, said in a press release. Upon further investigation by Fish and Game conservation officers, grizzly tracks were found near the sheep pen. A trap was set that evening and, although the bear returned to the area, it did not enter the trap and killed an additional sheep.

Additional traps were set by Wildlife Services Friday, with all traps remained set and remaining livestock were corralled in a temporary electric fence to try and prevent additional livestock loss.

When the bear returned Sunday, it was successfully trapped, Ross said.

“Due to the bear’s repeated behaviors of killing livestock within close proximity of a home, the bear was euthanized after it was captured. The decision was made with consideration for the safety of people and property,” he said.

Grizzly bears in Idaho are federally protected under the Endangered Species Act, so any management action is done in consultation and cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Fish and Game Conservations officers were contacted for comment, but were unable to comment to meet publishing deadline.

In the Copeland area, the second week of August, 20 goats were injured or missing due to a grizzly bear off an island on the Kootenai River.

Approximately 200 goats were left on the island which was being used as pasture land. The goats were monitored by guard dogs, every few days the owner would come by and auto feeders were set up, Jeremy Gaffield, Fish and Game Conservation Officer told the Herald.

Gaffielf said the trees on the island were used as a shelter and there was a makeshift corral to get the animals on and off the island.

In August, the owner noticed one or two goats injured and called Idaho Fish and Game. Conservation officers confirmed it was a grizzly bear after finding prints on and off the island.

Electric fences were put near where the bear was crossing, Gaffield said. The next day a goat went missing. After that, the owner decided to remove the goats from the island.

Fish and Game officials set up traps on the north side of the island, but the bear never returned, due to not being seen on trail cameras.

Gaffield said the island had no electric fences, but the water was a good barrier to keep the goats from leaving the island. Unfortunately the bear swam the river to get a meal.

Landowners can request assistance and a variety of educational materials for “living in bear country” by contacting the Panhandle Regional office at 208-769-1414. In addition, other cost-sharing programs through other entities exist for reducing human-bear conflicts.

For more information or if you have questions, please contact the Panhandle Regional office.

You can also follow the Panhandle Regional Facebook page to get regular news and updates.

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