KETCHUM, Idaho – Wildlife managers have killed a black bear after a string of encounters with people at a popular Idaho recreation area, including one in which a camper awoke with her foot in the bear’s mouth.
Over the past three weeks, the bear rubbed up against a woman reading a book near a stream and bothered campers as they slept, state Department of Fish and Game spokesman Kelton Hatch said. The woman who had her foot in the bear’s mouth was awakened by the pressure, but she wasn’t injured.
In each instance, the bear was frightened away when campers yelled, Hatch said. But it was clearly habituated to human food and contact.
Department workers trapped the bear Saturday at a campground near the Sawtooth National Recreation Area headquarters north of Ketchum, and took it to a different site to be euthanized.
Hatch said people should keep their campsites clean and store food in vehicles or high in a tree.
The agency said more information about bear safety is available at the website Be Bear Aware.
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