Grizzly sow and cubs euthanized near Tetonia

On Nov. 9 and 10, Idaho Fish and Game euthanized a sow grizzly and two cubs after the bears increasingly showed little fear toward humans and became habituated to areas near homes in the Tetonia area northwest of Driggs.

Euthanization is never a desired outcome. However, there were no relocation sites available in Idaho and because of consistent habituation and potential for human risk, Fish and Game officials determined these bears should be removed from the population.

Idaho Fish and Game conferred with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service during the process.

The sow grizzly and cubs first became a public safety concern this fall in the Mammoth area of Yellowstone National Park where they frequented and exhibited habituation to developed residential areas. After leaving the park, the grizzlies ended up in Gardiner, Montana, where they again became a human safety concern, spending much of their time foraging next to homes.

On October 17, all three bears were relocated south of West Yellowstone, Montana. A GPS collar placed on the sow showed the bears moved south making their way through Wyoming and Idaho before settling and spending the last several weeks in rural residential areas east of Tetonia. Data from the GPS collar and on-the-ground observations showed the sow and cubs continued to spend a considerable amount of time near human populations.

In the interest of public safety, Idaho Fish and Game personnel spent a tremendous amount of time and effort keeping tabs on the bears since they first arrived in the Tetonia area on Oct. 28. Officers and biologists canvassed neighborhoods on a daily basis visiting with homeowners to make them aware of the bears’ presence. Staff also provided information on the proper storage of attractants in an effort to prevent the bears from gaining human food rewards from trash or other unnatural sources.