Mystery Of Family Of Black Bears Found Dead In Car Park Solved
The mystery of the deaths of a black bear and her three little cubs all found in a car park has been solved.
The family were discovered on 6th December in a church car park. Initially police began investigating the deaths as suspicious, but there were no signs of injuries on any of the bodies.
This left West Wyoming Borough Police Department and Pennsylvania Game Commission stumped on how it could have happened.
Investigators also noted that there didn't seem to be any 'thrashing or stumbling' in the area, meaning it was most likely that the bears died suddenly.
However, recent toxicology reports and post-mortems now show that the most likely cause was due to the bears eating the English yew plant, which was found in their stomachs. Yew contains a compound called 'taxine' which is toxic to animals if eaten.
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Posting on Facebook, the Game Commission wrote: "While yew are toxic year-round, toxin levels increase during the winter months. Yew is cardiotoxic and impacts the heart's ability to beat properly."
Despite this, officials told Buzzfeed that this is the first time they had ever heard of a bear being killed in this way.
Featured image credit: West Wyoming Borough Police Department