North Idaho

Wallace residents need to be bear aware

WALLACE, Idaho - People in Wallace need to be bear aware as a black bear and her two cubs have been spotted looking for food in the area.

Chloe Buchanan looked out her window earlier this week to find a police officer in her backyard.

"She was shining a light back there and thought someone was in our yard," Buchanan said.

Bear aware vo

It wasn't someone. It was something. A mama bear and her two cubs rummaged through their garbage cans, left a trail of garbage heading up the hill and apparently settled in near a pine tree just 20 feet from Buchanan's house.

"I saw their eyes being reflected off that light," Buchanan said.

It's not the only place bears were spotted; another person down the street saw a black bear sitting by a tree in-between two houses. It's not unusual to see bears in the Silver Valley; they rely on berries for food, but this year there was an early huckleberry crop.

"So they're probably still trying to put on some fat before right before they go into the den," Mark Bowen with Idaho Fish and Game said.

Now that this bear family has been spotted, the Shoshone County Sheriff is asking people to take precautions, including keeping garbage cans inside, unless it's pick up day, keep an eye on your pets, remove bird feeders and even BBQ grills.

"Bears are really reliant on their noses," Bowen explained.

Bears are just like people, their personalities change animal to animal. Fish and Game said typically they are scared of people, but you don't want to run into the wrong one. If you see a bear near your house, get inside or somewhere safe and don't approach them.