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Black bear frequenting Salmon neighborhoods lethally removed by Fish and Game

Over the past several weeks an adult black bear had been routinely seen in Salmon, raising concerns since it continued to show no natural fear towards community residents. The bear had become habituated to living in and around city residents and frequently obtained food rewards, including fruit that had fallen from trees. 

The local Fish and Game office had received numerous reports of the bear and had been attempting to trap the bear for over a month, without success. Over the weekend, staff lethally removed the bear.

Black bears that become habituated to living within communities present a public safety issue, especially if the bear becomes food-conditioned and they start to defend food sources around homes.

According to the Salmon Region’s Regional Supervisor Ryan Hilton, the bear was very accustomed to living within the city limits on the Bar Hill. “Any time we have a bear living among local residences, it raises a level of concern we have for our local community members," says Hilton. "Typical black bear behavior would be to run away from people, but this bear showed no fear of humans, even during close encounters. It’s truly unfortunate that we had to put the bear down, but we were left with only one option with a bear that had become so habituated to people.”

Residents are strongly encouraged to secure all food sources that could attract a bear into neighborhoods.

Fruit trees are a strong attractant in the fall as the fruit ripens and falls to the ground, making an easy meal for a bear. Residents should make every effort to harvest their tree fruits before they fall to the ground, or regularly pick up all fruit that has fallen.

Fish and Game also encourages residents to call as soon as they start to notice a bear frequenting their homes since proactive measures can be taken to encourage a bear to leave the area. It takes very little time for a bear to become food-conditioned, so the quicker biologists can haze the bear away from homes the better the chances are for the bear to leave.

To learn more about how to keep a bear from becoming food-conditioned or habituated to living in our communities reach out to the Salmon Regional Office at (208) 756-2271.