IDAHO — The Gem State is expanding at a rapid rate. As more people relocate to Idaho, wildlife education is important for newer Idahoans.
On August 4, a grizzly bear was captured and euthanized after killing livestock. July 18, a sow was euthanized for aggressive behavior and raiding garbage. July 14, Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) euthanized a young adult black bear in eastern Idaho.
IDFG weighs all of there options when it comes to euthanization but public safety is always first priority when it comes to wildlife altercations.
“We hate euthanizing animals. None of us went into this profession to put down bears or lions or deer or anything else. We are mandated to address public safety issues first and foremost,” said Sierra Robatcek, regional wildlife biologist with IDFG.
Many people think relocation is a better alternative but this strategy has been proven ineffective as wildlife such as bears once conditioned, return to the same location and endanger human life.
This is why education on these topics is an important priority to IDFG and one they hope residents of Idaho will take seriously.
“I think we can move the needle as more people begin to grasp the reality that hey, I do live in bear country and there are things that I can do that will keep me and my family my belongings, my livestock safe,” said T.J. Ross, regional communications manager for IDFG's panhandle region.
IDFG's website has hundreds of resources and articles to help teach on the topic of wildlife cohabitation. Most euthanizations are not caused by wildlife but are a symptom human behavior.
“I think a lot of people value wildlife They just don’t know how they can take that and turn it into being responsible with wildlife,” said Robatcek.