Despite a 2016 Blaine County ordinance restricting the planting of noxious plants, including exotic yew, a bull moose was found dead in the backyard of a residence on Tuesday January 17, 2023, after eating the toxic plant north of Ketchum. A field necropsy was conducted by a conservation officer who confirmed that the moose had consumed yew found in the backyard of the home. The officer also noted that he found the overall body condition of the moose, as measured by the amount of body fat, was good.
During the winter of 2021 – 2022 over 20 elk died as a result of eating ornamental yew throughout the Wood River Valley.
Several plant species are toxic to wildlife and pets, especially those in the yew family.
Residents should inspect the landscaping around their homes and remove all yew plants in an effort to keep wildlife and pets safe, especially during winter months when wildlife moves down into historic winter range, now occupied by community neighborhoods and private residences.
Yew plants are evergreen, even in winter, which is thought to be the reason that reports of wildlife eating the plant seem to be more common during winter months.