Fish and Game officers euthanize grizzly bear suspected of killing seven sheep

Fish and Game officers euthanize grizzly bear suspected of killing seven sheep
FILE PHOTO: A grizzly bear sits in an exhibit at the San Francisco Zoo May 18, 2007 in San Francisco, California.

On Saturday, Fish and Game conservation officers euthanized an adult grizzly bear which they believed was preying on sheep in north Idaho.

Idaho’s Dept. of Fish and Game said Monday the 240-lb bear was found near the town of Copeland, which is near the Canadian border. It was suspected of killing seven sheep from two different ranches earlier in the week.

On May 29, conservation officers responded to a private landowner’s report that five sheep had been killed overnight. On May 31, a new report came in that two lambs were killed eight miles south of the first event.

The grizzly they believe to be responsible was the same bear captured in the Garwood area in the summer of 2018. That summer, the bear was given a GPS collar and relocated to the Cabinet Mountains near the Idaho/Montana border.

“This data was used to confirm the bear’s depredation history and proximity to towns and residences,” according to a release from Fish and Game. “The bear had a history of harassing livestock and raiding orchards prior to the sheep depredations.”

According to the Dept. of Fish and Game, grizzly bears are fairly common in northern Boundary County. There are believed to be 70-80 grizzly bears living in the adjacent Selkirk Grizzly Bear Recovery Zone, which covers parts of Idaho, Washington and British Columbia.

Still, officials said, grizzly bear conflicts with livestock in the area are relatively uncommon. The last reported incident in Idaho occurred more than five years ago.

Grizzly bears in northern Idaho are federally protected under the Endangered Species Act and management actions are therefore done in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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