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Grizzly Bear Suspected to Have Killed Livestock in North Idaho on April 5

Idaho Fish and Game

BONNERS FERRY – Idaho Fish and Game received information on April 6 about a llama and a sheep that had been killed overnight by a suspected grizzly bear. The incident occurred on private land near the town of Naples in Boundary County.

The landowner reported seeing a reddish-brown bear the evening of the incident, but he was unable to identify whether it was a grizzly or black bear at the time of the sighting.

After arriving on the scene on April 6, Fish and Game officers and Wildlife Services staff quickly located grizzly bear tracks.

Fish and Game officers, in coordination with a trapper from Wildlife Services, have placed traps on the resident’s property, as the bear may return. If a grizzly bear is successfully trapped, staff will determine whether or not the bear has been encountered during previous research efforts or if it is a previously undocumented animal.

In addition, if a grizzly bear is captured, Fish and Game will work with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff to collect biological data including DNA, measurements, sex and age. If the bear is relocated, a GPS collar will be placed on it for future tracking of its movements and behaviors.

Spring brings lots of things back to life after a long, cold, and dark winter. Flowers start blooming, birds start chirping and bears start waking from their dens with stomachs rumbling.

Incidents like these serve as reminders that we live in a bear country, plain and simple. Although a bear will often go and do as it pleases, there are some simple steps homeowners and landowners can take to make their property less attractive to bears.

To name a few:

  • Properly dispose of attractants, including trash, animal carcasses, compost, livestock feed, and beehives.
  • Securely store food, garbage, and other attractants in a bear-resistant place.
  • Keep pet food secured as you do your own. Bears like pet food as much as your pet does.
  • Avoid filling bird feeders until wintertime.
  • Do not bury or throw garbage into the nearby woods.
  • Make sure to clean your grills and keep them in a building, if possible.

In addition, here are a few tips in the event you do encounter a bear:

  • Never approach bears, always stay at least 300 feet away.
  • Do not interrupt bear activities.
  • Never feed bears.
  • Carry bear spray and know how to use it.
  • Never run if you encounter a bear.

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