Outdoors

Watch hungry grizzly dig for gophers in East Idaho — while her cubs watch

Watch hungry grizzly dig for gophers in East Idaho

Idaho Fish and Game captured video of a grizzly digging up some gopher holes in Island Park while its cubs watched.
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Idaho Fish and Game captured video of a grizzly digging up some gopher holes in Island Park while its cubs watched.

Idaho Fish and Game captured video of a grizzly bear digging for gophers earlier this month near Harriman State Park in Island Park. The bear had cubs with her, and the younger bears watched before joining in.

Bears have been seen in that location for three straight years, and Fish and Game speculates it’s probably the same mother bear returning to a known food source.

“The sow put her legendary grizzly strength to use and made quick work of the soft soil,” Jeremy Nicholson, a bear biologist with Fish and Game, said in a press release. “She dug up multiple caches as her cubs watched and joined in.

“... One of the first food items grizzly bears seek when they wake are pocket gophers. Grizzlies will make a meal of a gopher if they get the opportunity, but they are primarily looking for roots and tubers buried by the gopher.”

Fish and Game used the video as an opportunity to remind Idahoans to be responsible in bear country.

“If you observe a bear or have a bear conflict, we want to hear about it,” Nicholson said in the release. “We are particularly interested in receiving reports of conflicts because the earlier we hear about them, the more likely we can resolve the problem before the situation escalates.”

Idaho Fish and Game provides tips for identifying black and grizzly bears and what to do when you encounter each.

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