The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) says they euthanized an adult male black bear Friday morning. IDFG's Southwest Regional Office received numerous reports of a black bear wandering the area, and conservation officers and biologists found the bear in a cottonwood tree in the backyard of a Hillway Drive home.
According to a news release, IDFG officials tried to tranquilize the bear. Before the drug could fully take effect, the bear fell out of the tree and ran downhill toward Hill Road.
The release says Fish and Game and Boise Police officers shot the bear before it could go further into more populated residential areas. This is the second incident involving a bear in Boise in the past week that resulted in the bear being euthanized.
On September 18, IDFG officers euthanized a black bear in a southeast Boise industrial park compound between South Federal Way and I-84. The black bear was a subadult male that had been captured and moved from a north end Boise neighborhood four months earlier, according to the release.
"Given that we have had such a dry year, natural food sources in the mountain and foothills are likely limited," said Ryan Walrath, Southwest Region Wildlife Manager. "In years like this, bears are searching for other food sources to help them put on weight prior to hibernation in the winter."
Easy meals for bears in towns
As winter gets closer, black bears can add 30 pounds per week and four to five inches of body fat before denning. They need to eat 20,000 calories per day, so bears are on the hunt for food that is high in protein and fat.
In urban areas like Boise, food for black bears is largely limited to human-related sources like pet food, bird feeders, fruit trees and garbage cans and dumpsters. When bears find these food sources readily available, it leads to a bear that is food-conditioned and habituated to humans.
How you can avoid attracting black bears
IDFG says there are lots of steps we can take to avoid attracting bears to our neighborhoods. They provided the following tips which are geared toward people living on or near an urban/wildlife interface, like homes near the Boise Foothills where black bears are most likely to show up first:
- Remove bird feeders between April and mid-November
- Feed pets inside
- Don't place trash cans out overnight. Put them out the morning of your trash pickup.
- Do not keep coolers, refrigerators, or freezers outside
- If a bear has already visited your place and found food, take the above steps right away. The bear will likely pay you a couple more visits, but if it finds no food, it will eventually move on
- Residents should report bear problems to their local Fish and Game office in a timely manner