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Friday, October 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Idaho officials kill grizzly bear near Bonners Ferry

UPDATED: Tue., June 4, 2019, 9:48 p.m.

Idaho officials killed a young adult male grizzly bear Saturday in Copeland, Idaho, north of Bonners Ferry.

The 240-pound grizzly had killed seven sheep from two ranches last week, according to an Idaho Department of Fish and Game news release.

The bear killed five sheep last Wednesday and two lambs Friday.

The grizzly was the same bear spotted near Athol in August 2018. At that time, the bear was reported to be a 2 1/2-year-old weighing 176 pounds.

After being caught, the bear was relocated to the Cabinet Mountains near the Idaho-Montana border. He was fitted with a GPS collar, which was used to confirm it had killed the sheep, in addition to harassing other livestock, according to the news release.

Because grizzly bears are federally protected in North Idaho, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service assisted IDFG.

Officials believe there are between 70 to 80 grizzly bears in the Selkirk Grizzly Bear Recovery Zone, which includes parts of Idaho, Washington and Montana.

Meanwhile, Montana officials killed a subadult male grizzly north of Kalispell on Thursday.

The 3-year-old weighed 195 pounds and had killed numerous chickens over several days. It was also seen breaking into unsecured garbage receptacles and bird feeders in nearby residential areas.

As grizzly bear numbers have grown in Montana and Idaho, they have started making appearances in Washington and in more urban areas of North Idaho.

In fall 2018, a 476-pound grizzly was spotted west of the Pend Oreille River. In September, a female grizzly was shot and killed by a poacher in North Idaho.

Bears, particularly grizzlies, command respect and fear in popular imagination. The modern word “bear” traces its roots to the Germanic word bruin, which means literally “the brown one.” The euphemism allowed people to avoid speaking the animal’s real name out of fear it would attract them. But the reality is, humans are vastly more dangerous to the big bears.

A Canadian review of grizzly mortality research published last summer found that humans cause 77% to 90% of all grizzly bear deaths in North America. The majority of those deaths occur near a road.

Human-caused deaths often go unreported. From 1982 to 2017, 17 radio-collared bears died from human causes in the Cabinet-Yaak recovery area. Of those, 10 deaths were reported by the public and seven were not.

According to another Canadian study, published in 2018, about 88 percent of human-caused grizzly deaths go unreported.

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