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For the week of Apr. 5 through Apr. 11, 2000

Bear awakenings


By GREG STAHL
Express Staff Writer

spotted bearThis bear was spotted by the Sun Valley ski patrol on Sunday, March 26, on Bald Mountain. It’s time for valley residents to "bear proof" their homes, advises Fish and Game. Photo by Julie Cleman, Sun Valley ski patrol

The Sun Valley ski patrol takes care of the bear necessities.

Late in the morning on Sunday, March 26, ski patroller Larry Lofswold rounded a bend on Old Olympic and came face to face with a medium-sized black bear. He estimated it to be a 250-pounder.

"I almost ran him over," Lofswold said in an interview yesterday.

The bear and Lofswold were eye to eye for a several minutes before the bear retreated to the side of the ski run. Lofswold said he might have been more nervous if he didn’t have skis on for a quick escape.

The ski patrol closed Old Olympic and Olympic Ridge for the remainder of the day to ensure that there weren’t any conflicts between the bear and skiers or snowboarders.

The next day, the bear was gone. It hasn’t been spotted since.

Warm weather and rising temperatures mean outdoor fun and play for valley residents, but they also mean that bears are awakening from their winter sleep.unmarked bear hazards

Idaho Department of Fish and Game conservation officer Lee Frost advises valley residents to clean up their yards, take down bird feeders and make sure trash cans are not accessible to bears or other animals.

"It’s time, particularly in areas where people have had bears in the past, to bear-proof," Frost said. "If not, it becomes a very long and frustrated summer because it’s a constant fight."

 

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