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Island Park bear euthanized

Idaho Fish and Game Department personnel were forced to euthanize an adult male black bear Sunday after it became food conditioned and habituated to humans.

The bear was observed getting into garbage and poking around cabins in the Macks Inn area of Island Park. There were multiple sightings over the past several weeks.

“The bear had become accustomed to finding food rewards from humans and no longer showed fear of people,” says Bear Biologist Jeremy Nicholson with F&G. “It started peeking in peoples windows during the daylight hours and made no efforts to avoid humans.”

With thousands of people in the back country this time of year, Fish and Game officials said interactions with bears are on the rise. They encourage people to make sure they make food and garbage inaccessible to bears.

“Human safety is always our number one priority,” says Nicholson. “Unfortunately if a bear gains access to human food sources and becomes habituated to humans as this one did, relocation is not an option and the only way to ensure human safety is by removal of the bear.”

Most nuisance bear encounters are reported from July through September, when bears are traveling in search of food. If they become conditioned to raiding human food sources, they can lose their natural fear and become nuisances or even threats.

Since live trapping doesn’t always solve the problem, bears often need to be euthanized to remove the threat.

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