Bear cub killed after posing for ‘selfies’ with campers in Oregon

A black bear cub is shown near Henry Hagg Lake in Oregon on June 12, 2019. Washington County Sheriff's Office/Twitter

Wildlife officials in Oregon say they were forced to euthanize a black bear cub because it had become too comfortable around humans after several people took photos with the animal and gave it food.

Biologists put down and removed the bear from an area near Henry Hagg Lake, a popular boating destination in the northern part of the state, on June 13, according to a statement from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). They said the bear was no longer afraid of humans, which made it much more likely to be involved in a dangerous encounter with people in the future.

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Campers from nearby Scoggins Valley Park are suspected of leaving out trail mix, seeds and other kinds of food for the bear, contrary to a state guidelines.

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“This is a classic example of why we implore members of the public not to feed bears,” biologist Kurt Licence said in the ODFW statement. “While the individuals who put out food for this bear may have had good intentions, bears should never, ever be fed.”

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Officials became concerned after several people posted photos of the bear on social media last week.

Police and wildlife officials say they responded to several calls about the bear. They also found “selfie photographs” of people with the bear on social media.

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Authorities tried scaring it away on June 12, but those efforts proved ineffective.

“We got within 20 feet of the bear,” Licence told KGW8 News, the local NBC station. “It showed no reaction to us.”

Officials killed the bear on June 13.

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Be bear aware: Clean up camp, picnic sites – Jun 12, 2019

“We are saddened by the outcome for this bear,” the Washington County Sheriff’s Office tweeted.

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

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There are approximately 25,000 to 30,000 black bears in Oregon, according to state statistics.

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