Young black bear euthanised because it became too friendly with people

2019-06-19 20:00
Young black bear. (PHOTO: Facebook/Tim Lenihan)

Young black bear. (PHOTO: Facebook/Tim Lenihan)

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Wildlife officials in Oregon in the US were forced to euthanise a friendly black bear after they said it grew too familiar with people who regularly fed and took selfies with it.

Since the beginning of June, local police had received regular calls about the bear which was often spotted at the Oregon Park, CNN reports.

When police found the animal, it was surrounded by a pile of trail mix and sunflower seeds that appeared to have been left intentionally to try and lure it.  

People had been taking “selfies” with him and posted them on social media, causing concern from local law enforcement, The New York Post reports.

Police came to the conclusion that the bear had grown too accustomed to human interaction and could pose a threat to people’s safety, Washington Post reports.

Officials decided to shoot and kill the animal.

The bear, which weighed 45kg, was between two and three years old.

According to Rick Swart of the Oregon department of fish and wildlife, the young bear could’ve been relocated if it hadn’t grown so familiar with humans.

“Not only is feeding a wild animal (not to mention taking a close-up photo with one) dangerous for humans, but animals are threatened by close contact too,” wildlife biologist Kurt Licence said.

“Junk food can sicken bears, who can sniff out trash left in parks if it's not properly disposed of. If they habitually return to park areas where humans leave food, the bears are often euthanised out of caution.”

Critics lashed out at authorities. “You are just so quick to shoot everything,” one person wrote to the sheriff’s office.

“Unnecessarily cruel,” another tweeted.

“It’s a very sad situation,” the sheriff’s office said.

Sources: CNN, The New York Post, Washington Post

Read more on:    us  |  animals

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