In Idaho, popular landscaping bush has killed dozens of animals

Lynn Kinter, lead botanist for Idaho Fish and Game demonstrates how to wrap a Japanese yew plant in burlap to help protect animals from eating its poisonous leaves. (Kyle Green/Idaho Statesman photo)

BOISE, Idaho — Homeowner Jerry Smith and Idaho Fish and Game conservation officer Ben Cadwallader watched a mule deer eat from the poisonous yew bush in Smith’s back yard early this month. They followed as the deer ran over a hill.

“And it was dead,” Smith said. “They die that fast. It was not 10 minutes and that deer was dead. … It was a frustrating situation for us because we’ve worked hard at trying to help the animals stay alive for all the years we’ve been there.”

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