Bear wanders through Idaho town

Tuesday , May 22, 2012 - 6:41 AM

Allison Gene Smith

GOODING, Idaho -- A Gooding woman got a surprise Saturday evening when she spotted a small bear crossing her driveway.

Rosemary Anderson, who lives near 1500 East and 2100 South in Gooding County, said she went outside to close her garage door when she noticed the bear about 15 yards away.

Along with her granddaughter and cat, Anderson said she watched the bear until it was out of sight and then went outside to see it go down a ledge near her house.

"I felt sorry for the poor thing, he's probably looking for his mother," she said.

Anderson said the bear was about three and a half feet tall while walking on all fours and had a rusty colored coat.

Bears are uncommon in the Gooding area, said Regan Berkley with Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

"It's pretty unheard of for a bear to go there," she said. "Chances are very good it's just a young bear. He's looking for a place to be, trying to find his spot in the world. He just got a little wayward."

Berkley said Fish and Game has gotten several calls about the Gooding bear.

"We're keeping track of it," she said.

Rangers are doing hazing to scare the bear enough that it doesn't return and encouraging it to head to a less populated area, she said.

In general, bears don't want much to do with humans, and are easily scared away with loud noises like clapping or a horn honking.

"The last thing you want is for it to feel cornered or trapped," Berkley said. "If the bear isn't leaving, give us a call."

This time of year when people are cooking outside, it's important to keep grills clean and make sure food and garbage are cleaned up quickly.

"Please make sure there are no food odors a bear could be attracted to," Berkley said.

In the meantime, Anderson and her family will be a little more careful.

"We probably won't let the grandkids sleep outside in sleeping bags," she said.

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(c)2012 The Times-News (Twin Falls, Idaho)

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