COPELAND – On June 1, Fish and Game Conservation Officers euthanized an adult grizzly bear near the town of Copeland in a joint effort with U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The 240 pound young adult male grizzly killed seven sheep from two different ranches earlier the same week. On May 29, Conservation Officers responded to a private landowner’s report that five sheep had been killed overnight. On May 31, a new report came in that two lambs were killed eight miles south of the first event.
Officers credit citizens’ timely reporting of the incidents on their ability to quickly respond to the bear and avoid additional conflicts with livestock producers and area residents.
The grizzly was the same bear captured in Garwood the summer 2018 and relocated to the Cabinet Mountains near the Idaho/Montana border. The bear had a history of harassing livestock and raiding orchards prior to the sheep depredations.
Upon capture in 2018, the grizzly was fitted with a GPS collar. These data was used to confirm the bear’s depredation history and proximity to towns and residences.
Grizzly bears in northern Boundary County are not rare occurrences. There are believed to be 70-80 grizzly bears living in the adjacent Selkirk Grizzly Bear Recovery Zone, which covers parts of Idaho, Washington and British Columbia. Yet grizzly bear conflicts with livestock in the area are relatively uncommon. The last reported incident in Idaho occurred over five years ago.
Grizzly bears in northern Idaho are federally protected under the Endangered Species Act and management actions are therefore done in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
For questions, please contact the Panhandle Regional Office at (208) 769-1414.