After months of eating trail mix and making human friends, a black bear cub had to be euthanized in Oregon. According to state officials, the unfortunate incident is a reminder to tourists and locals that bears and all wildlife should never be fed or engaged with.
Visitors at a boat launch on Hagg Lake frequently saw the bear cub, and many continued to leave food and take photos with the bear.
After the Washington County Sheriff’s Office received numerous calls about bear cub sightings and noticed circulating social media photos of “selfies” with the bear cub, they investigated the sightings and set out a trap.
The state officials eventually caught the bear cub with the intention of releasing him farther into the forest, away from busy roads and popular family recreation sites. However, upon realizing that the bear was not fearful when they approached and instead had become very comfortable around humans, the officials reported that they had no choice but to euthanize the cub.
“This is a classic example of why we implore members of the public not to feed bears,” wildlife biologist Kurt Licence said in a statement. “While the individuals who put food out for this bear may have had good intentions, bears should never, ever be fed.”
According to Oregon state law, it is illegal to scatter food to attract or lure wildlife. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife explained that miscellaneous food can not only make bears sick, it can also cause them to become habituated to human interaction. This dependency and comfort opens the door for dangerous encounters, especially when the bears become older and larger.
Many people expressed outrage upon hearing news of the killing; however, most understood that the state officials had no choice and that the situation could have been avoided by those who fed the bear.
“They got the bear killed and that’s not OK,” local resident and frequent visitor to Hagg Lake Jennifer Harrison told the local news. “They tried to do something they thought was a good thing, but it ended up getting the bear killed, so please do not feed the bears.”
Rangers guessed that the bear cub was approximately 3 years old.
Via Huffington Post
Image via Keaton