Wildlife Officials Shoot Baby Bear After Tourists Fed It Too Much Food

A baby bear has been shot and killed after it became too used to taking selfies and eating food left by tourists.

Police were alerted to the issue after receiving calls about the young male posing for pictures with visitors at Scoggins Valley Park, Oregon, earlier this month.

Washington County Sheriff's Office and wildlife officials at Oregon Department of Fish started receiving calls on 4 June, but were forced to step in last week after visitors were found to be leaving piles of food for the animal.

On Tuesday (11 June) officers received reports that the 100lbs bear had drawn huge crowds of people to the boating area of the park.

The male bear was shot after becoming too accustomed to taking selfies with tourists. Credit: Washington County Sheriff's Department
The male bear was shot after becoming too accustomed to taking selfies with tourists. Credit: Washington County Sheriff's Department

In a tweet, the sheriff's department said it was working on taking the bear to safety. It read: "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."

According to OregonLive, officers managed to move the bear away from the area and back into the woods, only for it to return the next day. Sadly, following the second encounter, the animal was shot and killed.

Wildlife biologist Kurt Licence reportedly attempted to trap and relocate the bear, who was found with piles of food, including trail mix, sunflower seeds, and cracked corn.

Reports also claim the bear didn't run away when wildlife officials approached him.

In a statement, Mr Licence said it was unfortunate that the situation turned out the way it did, but warned tourists about the dangers of feeding wild animals.

He said: "This is a classic example of why we implore members of the public not to feed bears.
"While the individuals who put food out for this bear may have had good intentions bears should never, ever be fed.

"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."

Officials said that when an animal becomes accustomed to eating leftovers and too comfortable with human interaction, they will not relocate them as it increases the chances of potentially dangerous encounters.

They also warned that feeding bears food that is intended for humans can be very dangerous and make the animal sick.

Mr Licence added: "It's never a good idea to feed wild animals. 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 Credit: Washington County Sheriff's Department

Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]

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