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Killing of orphaned Idaho black bear cub raises questions

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Posted at 1:35 PM, Oct 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-19 15:35:19-04

KETCHUM, Idaho — Questions are being raised after an Idaho Department of Fish and Game officer killed an orphaned black bear cub in Hailey last week rather than send it to a rehabilitation facility.

Terry Thompson of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game tells the Idaho Mountain Express the agency generally doesn't consider big game animals for rehabilitation.

Thompson says the agency killed the cub rather than send it to a rehabilitation facility because success isn't guaranteed, and Idaho already has a healthy black bear population.

Sally Maughan of Idaho Black Bear Rehab says that facility has had plenty of success raising bear cubs without habituating them to humans and releasing them into the wild.

Off 225 cubs, 212 were released into the wild. Only four were euthanized due to human-bear conflicts.

She says the public cares about what happens to orphaned and injured cubs.

(The photo used in this story is a generic stock image, not the bear involved in this story.)