Black Bear Mother Killed by Poacher in Idaho, Cubs Will Likely Have to Be Euthanized if Found

by Jon D. B.
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Another illegal poaching in Idaho has taken a black bear mother from her cubs, and the three weans may not stand a chance, either.

These are the stories it hurts to tell. Poachers are the scum of the earth. For this Outsider, the humans capable of this and similar atrocities should see long jail sentences.

Idaho’s latest poaching case is a prime example of why. Currently, Idaho Fish & Game are asking for any leads on the illegal poaching of a black bear sow shot and killed near Hills Resort.

A popular Priest Lake community in North Idaho, Hills Resort also borders black bear habitat. Sightings are frequent for residents, who have become familiar with the bears. So when IGF officials found the female black bear dead and rotting near the resort, they unfortunately had an idea of which bear had been poached.

Back in August, IFG would respond to reports of repeat visits to Hills by a black bear sow and her three cubs. Over the course of several weeks, the family would rummage for food, as curious black bears often do, and showed little fear of humans. This last detail is unfortunate and crucial.

At first, Fish & Game officials were able to aid residents by securing trash cans and through ‘bear aware’ education programs. But after two severe maulings of pet dogs by the sow protecting her three cubs, IFG knew the situation had become out of control.

As September came, IFG would attempt to trap the bear family near Hills Resort. By doing so, officials could relocate the sow and her cubs without any further harm to residents or the bears themselves. Unfortunately, the trapping did not prove a success.

Hills Resort Black Bear Sow’s Poaching Endangers Three Defenseless Cubs

Reports of the bears would continue through the following week. Then, on September 8, local NBC News affiliate KHQ Q6 reports rifle shots were heard near the dumpsters of Hills Resort.

On Sept. 9, IFG officials would find the mother sow with several bullet wounds, dead and left rotting.

The cubs have not been seen since. Tragically, IFG believes the trio may need to be euthanized. They cubs are believed to be too young to survive the coming winter without their mother.

“Although frustration with the bears among the local residents was entirely justified, the circumstances surrounding the poaching incident were dangerous for other citizens,” says Idaho Fish & Game in a press release.

In addition, IFG says “the use of artificial light and the waste of game are punishable wildlife crimes.”

This signals that artificial light may have been present in the poaching.

Regardless, “It is not legal for citizens to take matters into their own hands in these circumstances,” IFG continues. The organization does want citizens to know, however, that they can use lethal force against any black or grizzly bears that pose “an immediate threat to a person or property” without a license or bear tag.

Situations like this are tragic all around. No one wants to lose a pet, especially to a wild animal. Yet as IFG states: “Fish and Game staff have received specialized training to handle situations such as this one.”

It is always best to let professionals handle these situations. Instead, one person thought they could take the law into their own hands. Three black bear cubs will more than likely pay the ultimate price because of it.

If you have any information regarding this black bear poaching, contact the Citizens Against Poaching hotline (1-800-632-5999).

Outsider.com