Published: Sat, June 22, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Cute young bear killed for getting too friendly with humans

Cute young bear killed for getting too friendly with humans

Last week, the sheriff's office sent out a tweet urging people to stay away from the boat ramp where the bear had been seen, as they tried to encourage the animal to go back into the woods.

Wildlife officials in OR in the United States 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.

When wild animals no longer see humans as a threat, they allow people to come very close to them, which can prove unsafe and sometimes fatal for both animals and people. Officials say they had reports about the bear starting June 4, when it began to appear in social media posts.

The outlet reports that the 100-pound bear, which was between 2 and 3 years old, had been fed by and used for selfies by boating crowds who flocked to the lake all week long to enjoy the nice weather.

"They got [the] bear killed and that's not OK", she told KOIN-TV.

According to some experts, bears that become too habituated with humans are more likely to have unsafe interactions in the future and "can't be relocated".

Washington County Sheriff's Office shared photos of the bear, warning people to stay away from the area while they try to get the cub back into the woods.

The junk food can also make the animals sick, Licence said, adding that bears are "perfectly capable" of fending for themselves.

"It was very clear that the animal was way too habituated".

The more food bears obtain from humans, the more likely they are to lose their natural fear of us. In Oregon, in fact, it is illegal to "scatter food, garbage or any other attractant so as to knowingly constitute a lure, enticement or attractant for potentially habituated wildlife".

Experts, including wildlife biologist Kurt Licence, chastised the people who fed the bear and took photographs with the animal, believing the park-goers's actions put everyone in harm's way.

It is reportedly against the OR state law to feed wildlife.

"But I think it was the human interaction that ultimately led to its tragic end", Deputy of the Washington County Sheriff's office said.

The ODFW says it didn't move the bear to another park because it would present a threat to humans wherever it lived.

But there are other ways that bears might suffer if they start eating human snacks. Oregon, which is home to between 25,000 and 30,000 black bears, has seen just three attacks involving the animal since 2000, the Statesman Journal reported.

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