Yew plant by IDFG@ (copy)

According to Fish and Game, “only a small handful” of yew needles or a small branch is enough to kill elk, moose and deer.

A bull moose died after eating a yew plant north of Ketchum on Jan. 17, Fish and Game officials said Tuesday, reviving annual winter concern over the toxic ornamental evergreen.

The animal was otherwise healthy, according to a field necropsy conducted by a Fish and Game conservation officer. The officer confirmed that the animal had found and eaten yew in the backyard of a home.

It’s illegal to have yew plants in Blaine County, Hailey and Ketchum. But, each year, wintering deer, elk and moose die after eating them. The nonnative plants stay green all winter and are common in residential landscaping. Browsing ungulates are particularly attracted to the bushes when they move down into their historic winter ranges during snowy months, according to Fish and Game spokesman Terry Thompson.

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