Elk NetworkBlack Bear Breaks into Idaho Zoo, Returned to Wild

General | July 18, 2018

Have you heard the one about the wild black bear that tried to break into a zoo? It’s true. It happened at a zoo in Pocatello, Idaho.

Zoo Idaho staffers discovered the young three-year-old bear high atop a tree within the zoo’s perimeter and right in front of the black bear exhibit. Idaho Game and Fish Department conservation officers could not tranquilize the animal because falling to the concrete below would be too dangerous. Instead they developed a plan.

With a trap baited with doughnuts and syrup, they waited several hours until the bear started its descent. When it was a mere 15 feet off the ground, they darted it and it fell to the ground. An examination showed it was in good shape so they fitted it with a radio collar and an ear tag and released it in the remote backcountry later that same day.

Go here to see video of the bear being released.

The irony of it all is Zoo Idaho is one of very few zoos across the country that features only native wildlife.

(Photo source: Idaho Department of Fish and Game)