A three-legged bear that had become a familiar fixture to homeowners of a Burnsville, North Carolina housing development earlier this summer has become a focal point for animal activists after the bear was shot to death by the community’s management.
As the bear became bolder in his search for food and managed to break into some homes, a search was started to find a wildlife sanctuary which would accept the animal. But before relocation efforts could solidify, the bear was killed, reports the Huffington Post.
Now many people in the community are upset, charging that the state’s Wildlife Resources Commission has a shoot first policy when it comes to wildlife that is no longer acceptable.
“When it comes to nuisance bears, the state’s policy is simple: shoot them,” Millie Bowling said. “And that’s just wrong. That needs to change.”
Many in the upscale community feel that state officials didn’t do enough to help them relocate the bear and decided that its elimination by killing was the only option.
“Everyone in our development wanted the bear to be removed, but most wanted him to be removed alive and taken to Grandfather Mountain, and not removed from our development dead in the back of a pickup truck,”said Bowling. ‘It was just devastating.”
Officials contend relocation is an option for orphaned cubs but not full-grown bears.
“There are very few places you can put a bear that won’t be in somebody’s backyard,” said Bradley Howard, the agency’s private lands program coordinator.