The Warm Springs bear that raided garbage cans and began to protect those food sources as though her life depended on it is a dead bear walking.

The black bear’s offense? Behaving like a bear. It huffed, charged and chased anyone that surprised it when headed to its favorite dining spot that each week was lined with irresistible treats easily tipped from containers with easy-flip lids.

Even bungee-corded lids are no match for bears that can wrap themselves around a refuse receptacle and peel the lid open.

With more and more private residences rented to vacationers by the day and week, some trash containers end up on the street for days before a garbage truck comes by. They are deadly temptations for wildlife.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game, obligated to protect the public, will trap and kill the Warm Springs bear.

The bear is a dead bear because neither the city of Ketchum nor any other city in the valley has taken even one simple step to prevent bears, raccoons, skunks and dogs from going after tasty leftovers.

The first simple step would be to pass an ordinance that imposes significant fines on owners of property where trash is put out the night before scheduled pickups. Of course, that would require enforcement.

The second and most effective step would be to require bear-proof garbage containers that cost more than ordinary ones. This makes elected officials back off.

How much is protecting wildlife worth? It should be worth at least the price of bear-proof trashcans.

Let’s keep our bears alive and eating insects, grass and berries instead of deadly leftover tiramisu.


“Our View” represents the opinion of the newspaper editorial board, which is made up of members of its board of directors. Remarks may be directed to editorialboard@mtexpress.com.

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