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Don't Feed The Bears: Two Problem Bears Killed in Oregon

June 26, 2008.

From the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife:

Two problem bears have been killed at Fort Hoskins Historic Park, the culmination of what started last winter when a well-intentioned person began feeding bears on nearby private property. One bear was shot and killed at approximately 10:30 p.m. Wednesday night. Another bear was found in a trap and euthanized Thursday.

The action follows weeks of problems that included dumpster-raiding by bears in the Kings Valley, Pedee and park area. It escalated when the bears damaged structures looking for seed and food, pressing against the windows of at least one residence and startling park users.

ODFW staff originally focused trapping efforts on just one problem bear based on sightings. Both bears’ behavior suggests they were habituated to people, and the extent and frequency of the damage supports that there were two bears causing damage all along.

The first bear was killed in close proximity to a residence where it had previously pressed against windows. That bear showed no fear of humans, as it did not leave when it saw a person or when a firearm was discharged in its direction. The second bear killed was captured in a trap set near the dumpster where previous feeding and damage had been documented. 

This is not the first time ODFW has been forced to put down multiple bears, as human-fed problem bears will often teach others bad habits. Several years ago in Florence, three problem bears had to be trapped and killed because they were feeding at a home where garbage had not been properly disposed of.

ODFW reminds residents of the Kings Valley area and all Oregonians to not feed bears or any other wildlife. Feeding bears—even unintentionally by leaving garbage bins accessible—habituates them to people and makes them a public safety risk. 

“This is a very unfortunate situation with a predictable end result,” said ODFW Wildlife Biologist Nancy Taylor. “Feeding of bears by well-meaning individuals ultimately led to this tragic end for the bears.

A fed bear frequently ends up being a dead bear,” continued Taylor. “Please don’t put the animals or your neighbors at risk by feeding wildlife.” 

For tips on how to reduce unintentional bear feeding, visit the link below or see the news release below.

The bears have been processed and their meat has been donated to a local mission.  

Fort Hoskins Historic Park remains closed through at least this weekend. Park managers will update the public on reopening dates next week.

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