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Aggressive bear in Ketchum dies after trash incidents, Idaho Fish and Game planned to euthanize

Black bear in a tree
Idaho Fish and Game
Black bear treed after raiding garbage cans and being aggressive to people in a Ketchum neighborhood.

An aggressive sow bear in Ketchum has died after Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) staff received a call about a bear digging in garbage cans and then growling and snapping at a resident.

The incident happened in the early morning of July 18 and was about a block away from another bear and garbage incident that happened the week before, according to IDFG. A news release says in that incident, the bear was eating garbage and charged a Ketchum woman.

IDFG says the bear is suspected to be involved in both incidents but it's difficult to confirm if it was the same bear.

When IDFG staff arrived on July 18, they found a sow black bear and two cubs in a tree. The adult bear was darted to sedate it, but after falling from the tree, IDFG says the bear "died from a combination of stress and effects from the sedation and capture."

IDFG staff had planned to euthanize the bear. The two cubs were taken to the Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary in McCall for rehabilitation and the release says IDFG hopes they can be released to the wild later this year.

“Due to her aggressiveness toward people, we could not in good conscience release her and have her end up in someone else’s home or camp,” Magic Valley Regional Wildlife Manager Mike McDonald said in the news release.

Despite multiple warnings, trash cans in Ketchum had been left out overnight in the area, which attracts and bears and causes a risk to public safety.

This is the second incident in July of black bears getting into trash. On July 14, IDFG staff captured and euthanized a young male black bear at Stoddard Creek Campground after it raided garbage left out by campers. That bear was food conditioned and showed no fear of humans and had repeatedly opened coolers and pushed on tents in search of food.

“Human safety is always our top concern,” McDonald said. “We simply can’t have these bears roaming neighborhoods and camps in search of food. The risk is too great, and the best way people can prevent these incidents is to be especially careful to not leave out things that attract bears, particularly household garbage.”

Find Katie Kloppenburg on Twitter @katiekloppen

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Hello, I’m Katie and I’m a social media enthusiast here at Boise State Public Radio.