NAPLES, Idaho — On April 5, Idaho Fish and Game learned that a llama and a sheep had been killed overnight, with the owner suspecting a grizzly bear was the culprit.
On the evening of the incident, he reported seeing a reddish-brown bear but was unsure if it was a grizzly bear or a black bear. Despite their name, the color and size of these bears can be deceiving. IDFG offers other identifying characteristics that more clearly indicate the species of bear.
When the IDFG arrived the next day, the grizzly bear tracks were quickly located and identified. In coordination with a wildlife service trapper, traps and cameras were placed on the resident’s property.
No bear activity was detected for the next two days. On April 8, however, the landowners again contacted IDFG staff and informed them that two additional sheep and a goat had been killed. IDFG checked the cameras and confirmed the grizzly bear was the culprit.
The IDFG works with landowners to protect remaining livestock, including removing animal carcasses, securing attractants when possible, and herding livestock inside an electrified fence.
Additional traps were placed on the resident’s property. After successfully trapping the grizzly, IDFG will confirm if the bear has been encountered before by looking for ear tags or other markers. Staff will then work with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to collect biological data. If the bear is moved, a GPS collar will be used for future tracking of its movements.
Panhandle landowners can contact the IDFG for assistance in securing bear attractants, livestock protection supplies, and for a variety of educational materials by visiting the website or calling (208) 769- 1414.
IDFG would like to remind residents that the area is bear country and spring is when grizzly bears and other wildlife become active again. They offer these steps to make their property less attractive to bears:
- Properly dispose of attractants, including trash, animal carcasses, compost, livestock feed and beehives.
- Safely store food, trash, and other attractants in a bear-resistant location.
- Keep pet food safe like you do. Bears love pet food as much as your pet.
- Avoid filling bird feeders until winter.
- Do not bury or dump garbage in nearby woods.
- Be sure to clean your grates and keep them in a building, if possible.
If you see or encounter a bear, follow these tips:
- Never approach bears, always stay at least 300 feet away.
- Do not interrupt bear activities.
- Never feed bears.
- Carry bear spray and know how to use it.
- Never run if you encounter a bear.
- Know the difference between a defensive encounter and a predatory encounter and how to react in each situation. Watch this helpful video for more details.