In a heart-wrenching incident, a baby bear has been shot and killed after it became too friendly with humans by taking selfies and then eating food left by tourists.
Cops were quickly alerted to the problem after receiving calls about the young male posing for pictures with visitors at Scoggins Valley Park, Oregon, previously this month.
Washington County Sheriff’s Office and wildlife officials at Oregon Department of Fish started receiving calls on 4 June, but were forced to step in last week after the visitors were identified to be leaving piles of food for the small animal.
On Tuesday (11 June), the officers received reports that the 100lbs bear attracted massive scores of people to the boating area of the park.
In a tweet, the sheriff’s department added that it was working on taking the bear to safety. It read: “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 A.”
As per OregonLive, officers took effort to move the small bear away from the area and to put back into the woods, only for it to return the next day. Unfortunately, following the second encounter, the animal was shot and killed on the spot.
Wildlife biologist identified as Kurt Licence reportedly tried to trap and relocate the bear, who was found with piles of food, including trail mix, sunflower seeds, and cracked corn.
Reports also claim the bear didn’t escape when the wildlife officials approached him.
In a statement, Mr Licence expressed that it was unlucky that the situation turned out the way it did but also warned tourists over the dangers of feeding wild animals.
He said: “This is a classic example of why we implore members of the public not to feed bears.
“While the individuals who put food out for this bear may have had good intentions bears should never, ever be fed.
“It was very clear that the animal was way too habituated. With that information, it was a human health and safety risk, and we had to remove it.”
Officials also added that when an animal becomes adjusted to eating leftovers and too cosy with human interaction, they will not relocate them as it multiplies the chances of some dangerous encounters.
They had also warned that feeding bears food that is specifically consumed by humans can be very dangerous and make the animal sick.
Mr Licence added: “It’s never a good idea to feed wild animals. They are perfectly capable of fending for themselves, and it’s always better to leave them alone and enjoy them from a safe distance.”