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'A fed bear is a dead bear': IDFG placing bear traps in Wood River Valley for food-conditioned bears

Posted at 5:10 PM, Jul 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-07 19:10:33-04

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Idaho Department of Fish and Game will place bear trap in two areas of the Wood River Valley to capture and euthanize two black bears that have become food conditioned.

The traps will be placed in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and the Fairfield Ranger District. This is due to campers leaving garbage and food behind or out at night making the two bears frequent the area.

“Everyone’s heard the term a fed bear is a dead bear and unfortunately that’s often the case in these situations,” said Jake Powell, wildlife biologist for Idaho Fish and Game.

The decision to euthanize is the last option and a tough choice to make in these situations and most are avoidable due to human cause.

"We don’t have any other options or places where we can put them where they won't become a problem for somebody else," Powell said. "Our policy is typically we have to euthanize these bears."

Related: Idaho Fish and Game to host bear seminar

This comes just months after the decision was made to euthanize two Idaho grizzly bears due to the same issue. Securely storing food, picking up and keeping trash locked are few of the easiest ways to keep bears from becoming food conditioned.

"Anytime when you leave food out, especially overnight or leave scraps around your tent or around your campsite, that is a recipe for trouble,” said Powell.

For more information on the bear traps, click here.