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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of August 22 - 28, 2001


Marauding bear 
still at large

Express Staff Writer

A large black bear plaguing West Ketchum residents this month, and thought to have been trapped last week, is still on the loose.

A black bear invited itself to dinner last Wednesday about 11:15 p.m. at the Ketchum home of Steve and Lisa Horowitz. Photo courtsey of Steve Horowitz

Idaho Department of Fish and Game officers had been trying to catch the bear ever since it began entering houses following a collision July 21 with a car on Highway 75. The collision left the bear with an injured right front paw.

A bear was trapped in West Ketchum on Monday of last week and relocated near Galena Summit. However, it was not the bear officers had been chasing.

That became clear this week when the lame bear entered three more houses.

The first break-in occurred last Wednesday about 11:15 p.m. at the home of Steve and Lisa Horowitz on Wood River Drive.

Steve Horowitz said the bear entered the house after ripping off a storm window while he and his wife were asleep in their bedroom. He said that when they were awakened by noises coming from the other end of the one-story house, he walked down the hall expecting to meet his teenage daughter coming in the door. Instead, when he reached the mud room, he turned and saw a 300-pound bear walking out of the den.

"I must have walked right by him when I dashed out of the bedroom to the entry way," he said.

Horowitz yelled to his wife to stay in the bedroom and called 911. He said Ketchum police officers arrived but did not seem to have a good plan to deal with the bear. Idaho Fish and Game officers were notified and showed up about an hour later.

Meanwhile, the Horowitzes had gone outside and watched as the bear entered the kitchen and began snacking.

"It looked like it knew just what it was doing," Horowitz said. "He walked over to the refrigerator and opened both doors. It immediately pulled out ice cream. It ate like a teenager—sugar and ice cream."

Horowitz said that when the bear stood up, it was at least a foot taller than the refrigerator.

The bear spent about two hours in the house. Idaho Fish and Game officers advised that trying to chase the bear out would probably result in more damage than just letting it finish eating and leave on its own. So the spectators watched as the bear went into cupboards and dragged food into the den, where it seemed to prefer dining. Horowitz said it ate a three-pound bag of sugar, a bag of brown sugar and boxes of cereal.

While the bear was in the den, Horowitz dashed into the living room and opened glass doors onto a patio. When it was done eating, the bear waddled out onto the patio and disappeared.

Horowitz said that when he first heard noises, he assumed it was his daughter, Grace, returning home. However, it turned out to be fortunate that she hadn’t come in, since the 2-by-3-foot window through which the bear entered is directly above her bed.

Idaho Fish and Game conservation officer Lee Frost said the bear trap has been reset near the Horowitz’ home.

"We definitely do have a bear with an injured right front foot still running around Ketchum," he said. "We’d like to get our hands on him and see what’s going on."

Frost said the bear has not acted aggressively toward people.

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.