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Toxic Japanese Yew Claims Eight More Elk Victims in Idaho

Japanese yew
Travis Smola

Eight elk are dead after eating non-native decorative plant.

Idaho Fish and Game has confirmed the death of yet more animals after eating toxic, non-native Japanese yew, the Associated Press reports.

In this latest incident, eight elk died near Idaho Falls. The plant, often used in landscaping, has been responsible for the mass death of 50 pronghorns and seven other elk earlier this winter in Idaho.

Unfortunately, Idaho is having something of a tough winter where animals are moving into more urban and farming areas seeking food.

japanese yew
Wikimedia Commons

But wildlife officials say Japanese yew may attract the interest of animals even if they aren't actually hungry. The shrub stays green year-round.

All of these incidents are causing Idaho Fish and Game to encourage homeowners to either cover up Japanese yew plants with garden wrap or burlap. The Associated Press additionally reports they will help people determine if they have the plant on their property. Reimbursements may be available to replace the plants with something that is non-toxic to local wildlife.

Idaho seems to have gotten an abnormally large amount of headlines this winter for animals dying. In addition to these incidents, 30 pronghorns died when they fell and suffered injuries on the ice of a remote lake.

Let's hope winter comes to a swift end for the Gem State!



Toxic Japanese Yew Claims Eight More Elk Victims in Idaho