Bears Find Easy Early Meals in Wood River Valley
KETCHUM, Idaho (KLIX)-Black bears have come out a little earlier than usual in the Wood River Valley area and have found some easy meals that have wildlife managers concerned. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game said bears have already gotten into several trash bins and raided bird feeders in areas south of Ketchum.
Managers are worried the animals will become accustomed to finding food in trash bins and become problem bears. Officials said this year reports of bears in neighborhoods came in mid-April, typically the bears don't start raiding trash bins until mid-July. “Our low snowpack, and very dry spring conditions seems to have brought bears into neighborhoods much earlier than we would typically see,” according to Senior Conservation Office Brandyn Hurd in a prepared statement, “these bears, using their incredible sense of smell, are attracted to area neighborhoods because some residents are leaving their garbage cans unsecured, where they are easy targets for bears looking to get a quick meal.”
Idaho Fish and Game is asking residents to keep their trash bins locked up and secure before the trash is collected. They recommend people keep the trash in a shed or garage until the day of pickup and don't leave it out overnight for the bears to get into. The agency said it will not relocate a bear that gets used to trash bins as a food source and will more than likely trap the animal and euthanize it. Idaho Fish and Game said moving a bear that is habituated to garbage only relocates the problem to another areas.