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Grizzly bear euthanized after killing 7 sheep in North Idaho

The grizzly bear was relocated to the Cabinet Mountains last summer after it chased sheep and raided chicken coops in an Athol family's yard.

Editor's note: Above video is a report from Aug. 2018, when the grizzly was found in an Athol family's yard.

BOUNDARY COUNTY, Idaho – A 240-pound grizzly bear was euthanized near Copeland, Idaho, after it killed seven sheep from two different ranchers.

Idaho Fish and Game conservation officers said the bear was euthanized on Saturday with the help of U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

On May 29, conservation officers responded to a landowner’s report that five sheep were killed overnight. Several days later, a new report said two lambs were killed eight miles south of the first property.

The grizzly bear had a history of harassing livestock and raiding orchards. It was captured in Garwood last summer and relocated to the Cabinet Mountains near the Idaho/Montana border.

The bear was fitted with a GPS collar in 2018 that was used to confirm that it killed the sheep. 

In August of 2018, an Athol family caught the bear on camera in their yard. Idaho Fish and Game officials said it was chasing sheep and raiding chicken coops in Athol, Garwood and Chilco.

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Fish and Game officials say grizzly bears in Boundary County are not rare. There are believed to be between 70 and 80 of them living in the adjacent Selkirk Grizzly Bear Recovery Zone, which covers part of Idaho, Washington and British Columbia.

Grizzly bear conflicts with livestock, however, are relatively uncommon. The last reported incident in Idaho occurred more than five years ago.

Grizzly bears in North Idaho are federally protected protected under the Endangered Species Act and management actions are done in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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