ISLAND PARK, Idaho – A young grizzly bear that was previously enjoying life in Idaho is now spending the remainder of its days at a wildlife sanctuary in the Lone Star State.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game recently removed the bear near campgrounds and other lodgings near Island Park and sent it to the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Texas.

Fish and Game removed two other bears from areas in eastern Idaho earlier this summer.

The department said southern Idaho’s grizzly bear population has increased over the past two decades, but conflicts in recent years have remained relatively low. But officials don’t want to take any chances and removed the bear to a sanctuary that accepts bears.

Fish and Game explained in a news release,

It is difficult to find a facility that is suitable, and willing, to take a grizzly bear, and most of the time it’s not an option, particularly with older bears. This bear was a yearling that had been seen in the Flat Rock and Coffee Pots campgrounds and near Mack’s Inn.

The department explained in the release that biologists were not sure why the bear was not with its family, noting that young bears stay with their families for about two years, “but they knew it was seeking easy meals and finding garbage and other sources of food inadvertently provided by people. The bear was dependent on human food and had also lost its fear of humans.”

Luckily for the young grizzly, Fish and Game personnel were able to find a facility that had room for it. However, bears are meant to be wild, and the next bear might not be as lucky. It is the responsibility of all people who live and recreate in bear country to properly store garbage and secure anything that might attract bears.

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