Friday, July 4, 2014

Bear warning posted by Hailey police

Sightings reported in subdivisions near Big Wood River

Express Staff Writer

Hailey resident Mary Austin Crofts took this photo of a black bear eating out of a bird feeder this week. Courtesy photo

     Living in the Wood River Valley includes living with wildlife of all sorts: elk, deer, mountain lions and moose have all been spotted within the city limits.

     This week, the Hailey Police Department is warning people to beware of a yearling black bear that has been frequenting subdivisions along the Big Wood River corridor. 

     The West Cedar Street and Robinhood Drive areas in east Hailey have been put on alert to stay clear of the animal, should it appear.

     On Wednesday, police Lt. Steve England responded to a report that the bear was eating from a birdfeeder at the west end of Della Vista Drive, and was chased into the woods.

     “We haven’t seen it since,” he said.

     Sightings of a bear have also been reported in recent weeks in Colorado Gulch and along a trail through the Draper Preserve in Hailey.

     “Please do not approach the bear,” stated a public service announcement on the Police Department’s website Thursday. “If you see it, immediately call with the bear’s location. The HPD and the Fish and Game Department will then respond and hopefully get the bear back into its natural habitat.”

     Fish and Game regularly darts or traps troublesome wild animals, removing them to areas where they would not be as likely to interact with people.

     Bears in west Ketchum along the Big Wood River have been known to appear only on garbage pickup days, apparently habituated to know when easy meals will be available before the garbage truck arrives.      

     To report a bear sighting in Hailey, call 788-3531.

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