Griz continues in livestock killing


NAPLES — A grizzly bear that reportedly killed livestock killed on April 5, returned to the same property near Naples, avoided traps and again the night of April 7.

Wildlife officials are continuing to try and trap the bear. There was no mention of trying to kill it in an Idaho Department of Fish and Game press release issued last Friday. Officials said they confirmed via tracks that a grizzly bear killed a llama and a sheep Tuesday night southwest of Naples.

Idaho Fish and Game and Wildlife Services staff placed traps on the property and set out cameras, anticipating the bear might return.

There was no bear activity on the property either April 6 and 7, but landowners reported the bear returned early Friday, April 8, and two sheep and a goat. Camera footage “confirmed the culprit as a grizzly bear.” Fish and Game officers, in coordination with a trapper from Wildlife Services, placed more traps on the property.

If the grizzly bear is trapped, staff will determine whether it has been encountered during previous management or research efforts, or if it is a previously undocumented animal by checking for ear tags and other identifying markers.

If the grizzly bear is captured, Fish and Game will work with US Fish and Wildlife Service staff to collect data including DNA, measurements, sex and age. If the bear is relocated, a GPS collar will be placed on it to track its movements and behaviors, the release said.

Fish and Game staff are working with the landowners to take additional steps to protect the remaining livestock, including removal of animal carcasses and corralling of livestock inside an electrified fence.

Fish and Game said it has two employees who are “largely dedicated to grizzly bear-related education, management and incidents in the Panhandle Region.”

The first is a grizzly bear enforcement and education senior conservation officer, and the second is a grizzly bear management technician.

“The positions exist to provide education and technical support for all things related to grizzly bears, including bear-human conflicts, and they are based out of Boundary County,” the release said. “As part of their programme, supplies and support can be provided to landowners to help address grizzly bear-human conflicts.”

Idaho Fish and Game officers suspect a grizzly bear attacked and killed a llama and a sheep in North Idaho Tuesday night.

A Naples man reported Wednesday seeing a reddish-brown bear the evening of the incident on his property, but he was unable to identify whether it was a grizzly or black bear.

Fish and Game officers and Wildlife Services staff said they found grizzly bear tracks at the site in Boundary County.

Wildlife officials put traps on the resident’s property in case the bear returns.

If a grizzly bear is trapped, staff will determine whether the bear has been encountered during previous research efforts or if it is a previously undocumented animal, according to a press release.

If a grizzly is captured, Fish and Game will work with US Fish and Wildlife Service staff to collect biological data including DNA, measurements, sex and age.

If the bear is relocated, a GPS collar will be placed on it for future tracking of its movements and behaviors, the release said.

Fish and Game officials said incidents like these serve as reminders that North Idaho is bear country, plain and simple. Although a bear will often go and do as it pleases, there are some simple steps homeowners and landowners can take to make their property less attractive to bears, officials said in the press release.

Among them:

• Properly dispose of attractants, including trash, animal carcasses, compost, livestock feed and beehives.

• Securely store food, garbage and other attractants in a bear-resistant place.

• Keep pet food secured as you do your own. Bears like pet food as much as your pet does.

• filling Avoid bird feeders until wintertime.

• Do not bury or throw garbage into the nearby woods.

• Make sure to clean your grills and keep them in a building, if possible.

In addition, Fish and Game officials said that if residents do encounter a bear, the following tips might help:

• Never approach bears, always stay at least 300 feet away.

• Do not interrupt bear activities.

• Never feed bears.

• Carry bear spray and know how to use it.

• Never run if you encounter a bear.

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