A baby black bear had to be shot and killed after wildlife officials became worried that the animal was becoming too comfortable with humans. People routinely left large amounts of food for the bear thinking they were helping the animal. But, in reality, the bear was learning to rely on humans to eat and was becoming comfortable around them. Because this could have created more severe issues in the future, the bear was ultimately put to death.
On June 4th, Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife began receiving calls about a small black bear. It wasn’t reports of him being aggressive, it was actually quite the opposite.
During the especially warm days of late, the bear was seen walking around Scoggins Valley Park in Oregon. The bear was seen eating leftovers throughout the week, which put him on the radar of authorities.
After getting a large number of calls over a week time span, authorities took to social media to discourage people from feeding or interacting with the wild animal, while posting its picture. According to MSN, the bear was snacking on sunflower seeds and trail mix when wildlife authorities approached the bear.
Authorities instantly became concerned when the bear did not run from them as they got closer. Wildlife biologists Kurt License told the Daily Mail why this was a bad sign.
“This is a classic example of why we implore members of the public not to feed bears,” he explained. “While the individuals who put food out for this bear may have had good intentions bears should never, ever be fed.”
License added: “It was very clear that the animal was way too habituated. With that information, it was a human health and safety risk, and we had to remove it.”
Normally, they would try to relocate the bear, but since he had become so reliant on human interaction, it had to be put down.
Washington County Sheriff deputy Brian van Kleef acknowledged the bear’s death by stating: “We’re sad it ended this way. Obviously, no one wants to see a bear get killed, especially its many human fans. But I think it was the human interaction that ultimately led to its tragic end.”