A dog is recovering from injuries after battling a black bear on a trail near Ketchum, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game said in a news release last week. This is the latest in a series of black bear conflicts in the Wood River Valley and across Idaho.
Fish and Game officials said a woman was walking her dog near her home in the East Fork area south of Ketchum on July 22 when she and the dog encountered a black bear near the trail. The woman was walking backwards and talking to the bear, the agency said, when her dog, who was off the trail, came back onto the trail and began “fighting” with the bear.
The woman described the bear as about the same size as her dog, a 120-pound Great Pyrenees. Great Pyrenees are large livestock guarding dogs frequently used in Idaho to herd sheep.
It was unclear how long the fight lasted or how the animals were broken. Fish and Game said the dog had multiple bites and was recovering after being treated by a local veterinarian.
Authorities do not know if the bear, which left the area, was injured. Fish and Game said it would make no effort to trap the bear.
“When a bear or wild animal is in direct contact with a rampaging pet in the wild, we tend not to take wildlife management action,” said Mike McDonald, Regional Wildlife Manager. of Magic Valley, in the press release. “In many situations, wildlife and pets, especially dogs, don’t mix and can actually turn an encounter into an attack or fight between the two. We don’t want that to happen. Dog owners should be aware that they are responsible for their pets and their actions when breeding on public land.
Fish and Game said they believe the bear was just in its natural habitat near the residential area, not foraging for human food. Last week, Fish and Game euthanized a black bear who had grown accustomed to unsecured bins and snapped and growled at people. The bear’s two cubs were taken to a wildlife rehabilitation center in McCall.
The agency also set a trap for a bear in the North Fork area of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area that was attacking campgrounds for food. The bear was not captured.
In recent weeks, other black bear conflicts have been reported at Baumgartner Campground near Pine and Stoddard Creek Campground near Dubois. In both cases, the bears searched for food at campsites after finding unsecured food in garbage cans.
The Stoddard Creek bear was captured and euthanized.
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