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Idaho Fish and Game kills five grizzly bears in Island Park

A wet grizzly bear with a fish in its mouth.
Jason Bechtel
/
Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho Fish and Game has killed five grizzly bears near the Wyoming border in the span of four days this month.

State agents needed to get approval from federal wildlife officials, as grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem are considered to be endangered.

Idaho Fish and Game said it killed two mother grizzlies and three yearlings on May 21 and 25 in Island Park after they had gotten used to human food.

Two of the bears had previously been relocated or flagged as nuisances. The other three had become aggressive toward humans after snacking on food left on porches or unsecured dumpsters, according to Idaho Fish and Game.

While Fremont County, where Island Park is located, has an ordinance requiring garbage be kept away from bears, neighboring Teton County in Wyoming is going a step further.

County commissioners there will soon ban bird feeders and require all residents to use bear-safe dumpsters. They’ll also block the planting of new, non-native fruit trees that could potentially attract the animals.

Local business owner Taylor Phillips was one of several people who supported the Wyoming ordinance during the April hearing.

“It will further put [Jackson Hole] on the map and really encourage responsible tourism,” Phillips said.

About 730 of the endangered bears live in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, which includes part of Idaho.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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