A black bear was killed in Oregon after wildlife officials found it had become “habituated” to the area and its visitors.
According to CBS Portland affiliate KOIN-TV, the bear – a frequent visitor to Henry Hagg Lake in Washington County, Oregon – was being fed trail mix, sunflower seeds and cracked corn – and was photographed in selfies by visitors – which caused the bear to become reliant on humans in the area.
Photographs of the bear were shared on Twitter by Washington County Sheriff’s Office, warning peoples to keep their distance from the animal, as officials believed that the bear was likely to engaged in aggressive behavior should it encounter a human.
“Deputies are working to get this bear cub near Hagg Lake to go back into the woods … please stay away from the area near Boat Ramp,” the tweet read.
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The bear was ultimately shot and killed, KOIN-TV reported.
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.
“This is a classic example of why we implore members of the public not to feed bears,” Licence told KOIN-TV. “While the individuals who put food out for this bear may have had good intentions, bears should never, ever be fed.”
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Added visitor Jennifer Harrison, who comes to Henry Hagg Lake with her family, “They got [the] bear killed and that’s not OK. 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.”
According to KOIN-TV, it is illegal in Oregon to scatter food or garbage that could attract “potentially habituated wildlife.”