BOISE, Idaho (CBS2) — The Idaho Department of Fish and Game said Thursday its attempting to lure about 70 elk away from two state highways near Sugar City.
The herd of about 70 elk ventured out of the Teton Canyon on Monday and ended up near Sugar City close to the junction of Highway 20 and Highway 33. Which is could be a dangerous situation for motorists.
On Tuesday night the herd splintered. About 20 crossed to the west side of the highway and the remaining 50 headed back east.
IDFG is working with landowners to implement a baiting operation to try and lure the elk away from the highway and back toward the canyon. It will also be working with the Idaho Transportation Department and Idaho State Police to monitor the situation.
"During the winter months it is not uncommon for wildlife to move closer into cities or towns," said James Bower, a spokesperson for IDFG. "As the snow gets deeper and starts to crust, animals like deer, elk and moose seek lower elevations where the snow is not as deep and food is easier to access."
IDFG is asking the public not to disturb the elk. Getting too close could cause them to spook and make for a dangerous situation.
"“Human safety is our number one priority,” said Doug Petersen, another IDFG spokesperson. “The last thing we want is for one of these elk to be the cause of an accident or injury.”
ITD has placed a sign on the roadway warning motorists of the danger. Drivers should be cautious when moving through the area; be on the lookout for wildlife crossing the roadways, slow down and follow all traffic and safety rules.