Environment

Fish and Game trail cameras capture Idaho grizzly and her two cubs near Island Park

Watch mama grizzly bear and cubs captured on trail camera

An Idaho Fish and Game trail camera captured a grizzly bear sow and her two cubs as they sniffed a sapling baited with a scent lure. The bears were seen in the Upper Snake Region near Island Park on April 20, 2019.
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An Idaho Fish and Game trail camera captured a grizzly bear sow and her two cubs as they sniffed a sapling baited with a scent lure. The bears were seen in the Upper Snake Region near Island Park on April 20, 2019.

Trail cameras in southeast Idaho offered a glimpse at a female grizzly bear and her two cubs in a video recently released by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

In the video, which was recorded April 20, 2019, in IDFG’s Upper Snake Region, the grizzly sow and two small cubs wade through snow toward a sapling positioned in front of the Fish and Game camera.

“Motion activated cameras are baited with scent lure to monitor grizzly bear presence, distribution, activity, and reproductive success,” Fish and Game said in a July 18 news release accompanying the video.

The adult grizzly, who is wearing a tracking collar, rears up on her hind legs to sniff at the lure on the sapling. Meanwhile, one of the small cubs attempts to climb the swaying tree.

Fish and Game spokesman James Brower said details on the grizzly family are sparse.

“No new information on that sow other than she is alive and seemingly doing well,” Brower told the Statesman in an email.

The end of the video shows two different adult grizzlies sparring. Those bears are also in the Island Park area, Brower said.

“There are lots of assumptions as to their story but bottom line is we don’t know if they are male or female or (what their) relationship is,” he said.

A different female grizzly with cubs was spotted in the Island Park area in May. That bear was recorded digging up gophers in Harriman State Park.

Brower encouraged anyone who sees a grizzly near Island Park to report the sighting to the agency. He said Fish and Game isn’t sure how many grizzlies are in the area.

“We don’t manage on a fine enough scale to say how many bears are in the area at any given time as they have large home ranges and cross state borders regularly,” Brower said. “They are definitely present however so people should always be ‘Bear Aware’ when in the area and keep food and garbage inaccessible to bears.”

Trail cameras have proved helpful in providing information to Fish and Game on elusive wildlife such as grizzlies. In 2016, cameras recorded a wolverine near McCall, helping biologists collect data on a species that can be incredibly difficult to observe.

According to another July news release, Fish and Game recently deployed more than 800 additional trail cameras in hopes of gathering more accurate information on the wolf population in Idaho.

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