In the last two weeks a group of eight elk and 50 pronghorn antelope have been killed by a common ornamental shrub. Idaho Fish and Game sent samples of the dead antelope to the lab where all tested positive for a deadly plant, Japanese Yew.
Japanese Yew or Taxus cuspidate is a common landscaping shrub, despite the fact that its soft, waxy needles are fatal to a variety of species, including elk, moose, horses, dogs and even humans. In some locations, this year’s winter weather is pushing big game animals into more urban neighborhoods increasing the likelihood that Japanese yew plants will be encountered.
The department urges homeowners to inventory their property and remove and landfill any Japanese yew that might be growing at their residence. Alternatively, the plants can be wrapped with burlap to prevent access by big game animals.
So please check you flower gardens and get rid of this toxic killer.
For the press release click HERE