A yearling black bear was spotted in a Coeur d’Alene neighborhood on June 12 near the intersection of Locust and Fourth Street. Fish and Game officials spent the morning monitoring the bear and ultimately determined the best course of action was to give the animal space to return to its natural habitat on its own.
The bear was last seen 60 feet up a large tree. Attempts to immobilize the young animal were unsuccessful due its position in the thick evergreen. Given the bear’s small size and because there were no previous reports of the bear in town, officials do not believe the animal poses a threat to public safety.
Fish and Game personnel will continue to monitor the bear’s movements. If the bear remains in town, officials may try immobilization once again. Fish and Game will always prioritize public safety when wildlife is near cities, towns and homes. Citizens can report sightings to the Panhandle Regional Office at (208)769-1414.
Fish and Game asks that people refrain from approaching or feeding the bear. As a yearling, this is its first summer on its own. Given space, biologists believe the young animal will return to nearby habitat. The Coeur d’Alene National Forest is only one mile from the bear’s last known location.
As always, Fish and Game recommends limiting bear attractants around the home. Black bears are common in all of northern Idaho, and the best way to keep bears from staying in town is to remove access to food like garbage, bird feeders, uncleaned barbeque grills and pet food. A bear that becomes accustomed to finding food near cities, towns and homes may pose a threat to human safety, and it can result in the bear being euthanized.
More information about living in black bear county is available on the Fish and Game website.