On the morning of September 18, Idaho Department of Fish and Game officers euthanized a black bear in a southeast Boise industrial park compound between South Federal Way and I-84. The black bear was a subadult male that had been captured and moved from a north-end Boise residential neighborhood 4 months earlier. Despite having been relocated to the mountains 40 miles away, the bear returned to town.
Fish and Game was first notified about the black bear by the Boise Police Department who had responded to multiple public reports of a bear wandering the area in recent days. A responding officer observed the bear entering a fenced industrial yard and contacted Fish and Game. After assessing the circumstances and location, Fish and Game staff determined the appropriate course of action was to euthanize the bear.
In urban areas like Boise, food for black bears is largely limited to human-related sources such as pet food, bird feeders, and fruit trees in backyards, and of course, garbage cans and dumpsters. In many cases that leads to a bear that is food-conditioned and habituated to humans, which would create a significant public safety concern, particularly in the heavily-populated city. It was apparent the first relocation was not successful and that an industrial park is not a suitable location for a bear.
Fish and Game does not typically capture and relocate large predators like black bears, mountain lions and gray wolves.
“While it’s not something we do often, this was a bear that seemed like a good candidate for relocating last spring,” Walrath explained. “It was a younger animal that had wandered into town and didn’t appear to be habituated—it had no known prior interactions with humans. Unfortunately, it returned back to Boise and conflicts were inevitable.”