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September 20, 2007

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Idaho Drought Pushes Bears Into Towns

This Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game press release has the story:

Idaho Department of Fish and Game biologists Wednesday afternoon, September 19, successfully captured a yearling black bear at East Junior High School in Boise.

The bear, about 18 months old and about 50 pounds, had been chased up a tree by residents of an apartment building west of the school. Boise police officers and school officials helped keep him treed until help arrived – first the fire department and then Fish and Game biologists Steve Nadeau, the agency’s large carnivore coordinator, and wildlife biologist Jon Rachael.

With police officers and firemen holding tarps, Rachael was able to jab the treed bear with a hypodermic pole. A few minutes later the groggy bear fell from the tree partly onto the tarp and Nadeau’s waiting arms.

After a quick check up to make sure the bear was healthy, Rachael took it into the Boise Mountains and let it go.

The bear captured Wednesday, born a year ago last spring, probably had been kicked out on its own by its mother in July.

The afternoon capture marked the 16th bear Rachael and southwest Idaho Fish and Game biologists have captured in the past month. Across the state, biologists have gotten more than an average number of calls about bears. Biologists say drought has affected the food supplies for bears, pushing them into town to find food to fatten up for the winter.


Blue Ox

Nobody should be surprised by this. If bears played by the rules they would all starve. It's a little voice called 'instinct' that says: "Hey! Go where the food is! You better get over there and eat up while you still can, 'cause winter's coming!"


Unfortunately, the only way to prevent the bears from seeking food in town is to make sure there is something for the bears OUTSIDE of town. Then the problem of reliance on humans for the food source becomes reliance on humans AS a food source. The future looks bleak for the wildlife in that area.

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