Wildlife officials in Oregon reportedly shot and killed a young black bear last week because it grew too friendly with humans after they repeatedly fed and took pictures with it.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials killed the bear Thursday at Hagg Lake. The Oregonian reported that biologists spotted the animal eating trail mix, sunflower seeds, cracked corn, and other items.
On Wednesday, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office shared on Twitter that they spotted the bear near a boat ramp and deputies were trying to get it back into woods. Though their initial attempt was successful, police announced the following day that the bear returned to the same area.
Deputies are working to get this bear cub near Hagg Lake to go back into the woods… please stay away from the area near Boat Ramp A. pic.twitter.com/tI8m5yTbyk
— WCSO Oregon (@WCSOOregon) June 13, 2019
Law enforcement was reportedly aware of contact between the bear and humans after learning of “selfies” depicting the animal which were posted to social media. Over the past week, police were called to the area and noticed food was left behind for the animal, according to officials.
State troopers called Fish and Wildlife officials to the lake after determining that the bear had become habituated. In a statement, the agency explained that they don’t relocate habituated bears because they pose a higher risk of having “dangerous interactions” with humans in the future.
Rick Swart, of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, told CNN that the deceased bear was 100 pounds and between 2 and 3 years old. He noted that the bear could’ve been relocated had it not become so accustomed to humans.
“This is a classic example of why we implore members of the public not to feed bears,” wildlife biologist Kurt Licence said in the press release.
“While the individuals who put food out for this bear may have had good intentions bears should never, ever be fed. They are perfectly capable of fending for themselves, and it’s always better to leave them alone and enjoy them from a safe distance.”
[Featured image: Washington County Sheriff’s Office]