Frequent visitor grizzly bear killed at Idaho Forest Service campground

Idaho Department of Fish and Game staffers on July 11 trapped a sub-adult male grizzly that was found near a Forest Service campground. The grizzly was radio-marked and relocated about 22 miles away in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, said Curtis Hendricks, regional wildlife manager for Fish and Game’s Upper Snake Region. But by Friday, July 20, the bear had returned to the Mill Creek Campground in Island Park and had to be killed.

Killing the bear was the last option Fish and Game officials considered, Hendricks said. Prior to shooting the bear, the Fish and Game employees tried hazing techniques, including trying to scare the bear away with loud whistles, electrified mats, fences and cracker shells to deter the bear away from the campground, Hendricks said. Unfortunately, the bear continued to come to the campground and get within unsafe distances of people.

There are only a limited number of approved grizzly relocation areas, and the bears also can’t be transported across state lines, so this was the farthest and best option Fish and Game had to relocate the bear, Hendricks said.

People at the campground said the bear would swim across the Henry’s Fork River at night to get to the campground, and that the bear was digging holes near tents, rubbing up against tents, and climbing up into truck beds to try to find food.

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One Thought to “Frequent visitor grizzly bear killed at Idaho Forest Service campground”

  1. Lelia

    Unfortunately, the campers who fed this bear or left their food accessible for him to steal are not being punished! And they likely will never hear that their behavior caused his death. This newsletter issue reported on a mother bear and her 3 cubs who were euthanized because of campers teaching them to see campgrounds as food sources.

    I lived for many years in a wildlife sanctuary where residents were forbidden to feed the wildlife. But they did it anyway. One woman who had been feeding a black bear regularly wasn’t home one day when the bear came for his feeding. He broke down her entrance door, then tore the door off her refrigerator to serve himself. A man in the same area kept his dog food just inside the garage. A black bear tore down the garage door to help himself. But it cost both bears their lives. They were euthanized, but the people who taught them to see humans as food sources are still blithely walking around.

    I talked to an RVer recently who had been feeding the cute chipmunks who came to his campsite in Colorado. Then he became overrun with them. They were gnawing into his trailer, getting into his kitchen stores, and making a huge nuisance of themselves. His solution for the problem he had caused? He’s killing them off. So far, he’s shot 125 of them!

    Campers and others who think it is so cute to feed the wildlife will not stop until there are penalties for doing it.

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