Contributed by Sugar Cookie.
Officials with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife killed a young black bear near Hagg Lake on Thursday after the creature had become habituated to humans because so many people were feeding it, authorities said.
On Wednesday, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office tweeted that a black bear had been spotted near the boat ramp and that deputies were attempting to shoo the animal back into the woods. They were successful, they subsequently tweeted, but the bear returned the next day.
Officials with the state said they’d also seen numerous “selfies” people had taken with the bear near the lake posted to social media.
“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.”
The state does not relocate bears that have become accustomed to being around people, officials said, because once the animal associated people with food it drastically increases the likelihood of problematic encounters.
Feeding bears food intended for people can also make them sick, Licence said.
“It’s never a good idea to feed wild animals,” he said. “They are perfectly capable of fending for themselves, and it’s always better to leave them alone and enjoy them from a safe distance.”