Black bear charges woman outside her Ketchum home - East Idaho News

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Black bear charges woman outside her Ketchum home

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The following is a news release from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

KETCHUM – Idaho Fish and Game staff are attempting to capture a black bear in the Ketchum area that acted aggressively toward a resident in the early morning on July 11. A woman reported opening her door and tried to verbally shoo a bear away that was getting into garbage outside her home. The adult black bear then charged her. She quickly closed the door, and the bear collided with the door. The bear then charged a window as the woman banged on the glass in an attempt to scare the bear away.

She was unharmed, and she reported the incident to Fish and Game.

This is the second case of aggressive bears in the Warm Springs neighborhood in about a year. The Wood River Valley has had persistent problems with bears raiding garbage cans and finding other sources of food at or near homes.

In June 2021, in the Warm Springs area, a woman had a face-to-face encounter with an aggressive black bear during a late-night walk through the neighborhood. During that incident, streets were lined with garbage carts prior to pick-up the next day, which frequently attracts black bears into neighborhoods.

“No one wants to see wildlife harmed, but we have no tolerance for bears that are aggressive toward people, or repeatedly return to homes and neighborhoods in search of food,” said Terry Thompson, Magic Valley Regional Communications Manager. “If we are able to trap this bear, our only option is to euthanize it. We can’t risk public safety on account of one animal that has developed a bad habit of roaming neighborhoods in search of food. We want wildlife to remain wild, but unfortunately, when there’s bear food in the form of garbage or other attractants, bears will follow.”

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In the evening of July 11, Fish and Game went door to door in the immediate vicinity of the incident and notified people of the encounter. Fish and Game personnel are working to locate the bear, which can roam over large distances, but will usually return to areas where they have found food in the past.

“We’ve had repeated problems with bears in the Ketchum area, and these encounters are mostly preventable by removing food attractants,” Thompson said.

In a separate incident during July, a different bear was reported in dispersed campsites in the North Fork area north of Ketchum. The bear was reported roaming around campsites for several days. While in the campsites, the bear found unsecured food and reportedly damaged camping gear and attempted to get inside vehicles.

Fish and Game officials ask anyone who sees or finds evidence of a bear in the area to report it at (208) 324-4359.