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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of July 24 - 30, 2002


Fish and Game seeks house invading bear

Express Staff Writer

A black bear has begun making unexpected and unwelcome house calls in Ketchum, and Idaho Department of Fish and Game personnel said the behavior is unacceptable.

In the past two weeks, Fish and Game conservation officers received more than a dozen telephone calls about the brazen bear invading homes or toppling trash cans in Warm Springs canyon and in West Ketchum.

On Tuesday morning, Fish and Game captured a black bear in West Ketchum, but suspect it is not the large animal guilty of invading homes. The animal captured Tuesday will be relocated, Fish and Game Conservation Officer Lee Garwood said.

The hunt for the brazen bear that has been inviting itself into homes will continue, Garwood said.

"This bear has not done this before this summer that we know of," said fellow Fish and Game Conservation Officer Roger Olson, who added that, if trapped, the guilty bear "may be euthanized."

"Bears in houses or breaking through screen doors is something we’re not going to tolerate," he said.

Last Wednesday morning, Linda and Jay Cooper, who live on Irene Drive in Warm Springs, had their first "and hopefully our last" bear incident when the bear broke through a screen door, walked down a hallway, explored a bedroom and left.

"It was quite an experience," said Linda Cooper.

Cooper said there was no pet food, bird seed or trash in the home to entice the bear. In fact, she said, it was garbage collection day, and trashcans were still on the streets, full. She said it was fortunate that no one was staying in the bedroom.

Garbage, pet food and bird seed are the most common reasons for bears to investigate homes or private properties. To improve chances of avoiding bear encounters, trash should be put out the same morning it is collected. Bird feeders should be put away for the summer, and pet food should be carefully stored.

"Bears follow their noses," Olson said.

Garwood said there are between three and six bears frequenting populated areas this summer, mostly in Warm Springs and West Ketchum.

"This one bear has gone several steps beyond acceptable," he said. "But there’s always going to be bears down here, always. We can’t change the pattern of a wild animal, but we certainly can change the way we do things."


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.