A teddy bear has been shot and killed after he became too accustomed to taking selfies and eating the food left by tourists.
Police was alerted to the issue after receiving calls about the young male posing for photos with visitors in Scoggins Valley Park, Oregon, earlier this month.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon Department of Fish wildlife officials began receiving calls on June 4 but were forced to intervene last week after visitors were discovered to be they left lots of food for the animal.
On Tuesday (June 11), officers received reports that the 100-pound bear had drawn large crowds of people to the park’s navigation area.
In a tweet, the sheriff’s department said it was working to get the bear to safety. He said: “The officers are working to get this bear cub near Lake Hagg back into the forest… please stay away from the area near the boat ramp A.”
According to OregonLive, the officers managed to move the bear away from the area and return to the forest, only to return the next day. Unfortunately, after the second encounter, the animal was shot dead.
Wildlife biologist Kurt License reportedly attempted to catch and relocate the bear, who was found with lots of food, including mixing seeds, sunflower seeds and cracked corn.
Reports also claim that the bear did not escape when wildlife officials approached it.
In a statement, Mr. License said it was unfortunate that the situation was like this, but warned tourists about the dangers of feeding wild animals.
He said, “This is a classic example of why we implore members of the public not to encourage bears.
“While individuals who put food for this bear may have had good intentions, bears should never be fed.”
“It was very clear that the animal was too used. With that information, it was a risk to human health and safety, and we had to eliminate it.”
Officials said that when an animal gets used to eating leftovers and feels too comfortable with human interaction, it won’t relocate them as it increases the chances of potentially dangerous encounters.
They also warned that feeding bears food intended for humans can be very dangerous and make the animal sick.
Mr. License added: “It’s never a good idea to feed wild animals. They are perfectly capable offend-by-the-f, and it’s always best to leave them alone and enjoy them from a safe distance.”
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