On Thursday, a young black bear was killed by Oregon state officials because the bear had become too comfortable around humans. It wasn’t the bear’s fault, though. People frequently fed the animal so it would come close enough for a selfie, so unsurprisingly, the bear often came within close proximity of humans. Most recently, the bear was seen near tourists at Scoggins Valley Park in Washington County, prompting two people to call the sheriff’s office out of concern.
The bear is believed to have been fed often by humans visiting the area, particularly via boat. He has been seen eating trail mix, sunflower seeds, and cracked corn apparently left intentionally by park visitors, and it was observed that he hardly flinched when humans approached.
Kurt License, a wildlife biologist, said, “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.”
On Wednesday, authorities had urged the public via Twitter to stay clear of the area. “Deputies are working to get this bear cub near Hagg Lake to go back into the woods,” they said. “Please stay away from the area near Boat Ramp A.” However, on Friday the WSCO Oregon Twitter account announced that the bear had been killed.
Unfortunately, yes. This was a tough decision the wildlife experts at the Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife had to make for the safety of everyone. Relocation wasn't an option in this case. Humans shouldn't feed wild bears. It's a very sad situation.
— WCSO Oregon (@WCSOOregon) June 14, 2019
Unsurprisingly, people are outraged and taking to Twitter to express their disgust with the killing.
Yeah, so killing it was the only option??? Next excuse please because that’s fucking garbage….
— Stefan Pursell (@StefanPursell) June 14, 2019
Why was relocation not an option? It couldn't have been taken to a zoo or wildlife reserve? Why did killing him have to be the only solution? This is such a disgusting thing …
— Chris Elizondo (@Chelipepper_) June 18, 2019
This wasn't a "tough decision". This was a reckless and a very bad decision made by LAZY people. We have the power and the means to relocate this bear to another state, isolated forested area, or sanctuary. This bear did not have to be "euthanized". I bet you guys (1/?)
— Joe G. (@clipperjoe9972) June 18, 2019
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