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Idaho State News

Ornamental Japanese yew continues to kill elk in the Wood River Valley

Idaho Fish & Game

Ornamental yew is extremely toxic to wildlife, pets and people

Two more elk have died from eating toxic ornamental Japanese yew in Ketchum over the last week. Fish and Game officers from the Magic Valley Region recently responded to two incidents in Warm Springs that were reported by local residents of elk that had died on their property. Officers determined that in both incidents the elk had ingested ornamental yew.

The exact location of the plants has not yet been determined.

Officers have conducted visual inspections of homes in the area, but if the resident is not available and permission is not received, Fish and Game officers must follow trespass law and not enter private property. 

To help residents identify Japanese yew, Idaho Fish and Game and their Wildlife Smart Communities coalition partners will offer a 1-hour community presentation on yew identification and removal guidelines, as well as other human-wildlife issues happening in Blaine County, such as safety around mountain lions and moose, on-going wildlife entanglements and how to keep black bears from getting access to unsecured residential garbage and becoming food-conditioned.

The community presentation will be held at The Community Library in Ketchum on February 28, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. The library is asking for those interested to call them to reserve a seat at (208) 726-3493.

A live-stream option will be available to those unable to attend in person by following this link https://vimeo.com/event/2881005

For more information contact the Magic Valley Regional Office at (208) 324-4359.