Idaho camper wakes to find bear's mouth around her foot

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |  July 17, 2017 at 10:57 AM
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July 17 (UPI) -- Idaho wildlife officials said a camping area has been shut down after a camper awoke to find a bear with its mouth around her foot.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game said all camping along Forest Road 146 and 452 in the Sawtooth National Forest, including the Murdock and Caribou campgrounds, has been suspended for the time being.

Officials said campers reported spotting a bear about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday and chased it away from their site. The bear was spotted again the following night, when a camper awoke to find her foot inside the bruin's mouth.

"She wasn't injured," Fish and Game Conservation Officer Alex Head said. "The sleeping bag was not damaged, but it did leave some saliva on the sleeping bag."

The bear ran off when the camper shouted, but officials said they are concerned it could return to the area a third time.

Traps have been set in the area and wildlife officials said camping will likely remain closed until the bear is captured. Backpacking and other daytime activities are still being allowed in the affected areas, but visitors are being urged to "please use caution" and "be bear aware."

"All though food was not the cause of this bear coming into camp, officials remind campers to store food in vehicles or away from sleeping area in hard sided containers to avoid attracting wildlife into their camps," the department said.

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