Bear euthanized after capture

Dec. 4, 2012 at 4:09 PM

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla., Dec. 4 (UPI) -- A female black bear, reliant on human-provided food, was euthanized because she had lost her fear of people, a Florida wildlife official said in a statement.

The bear had killed chickens and a dog during her walks, with her two cubs, into areas frequented by humans, said Dave Telesco, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission bear program coordinator.

The cubs, each weighing about 100 pounds, were captured Nov. 29 with their mother on Eglin Air Force Base near the Wynn Haven Beach area they frequented, The (Fort Walton Beach) Northwest Florida News reported, adding the cubs were released.

"The cubs have been with their mother long enough that they are no longer fully dependent on her," Telesco said, noting, "Bears grow larger and produce more cubs when they have regular access to human-provided foods, which increases the number of bears living in neighborhoods and causing human-bear conflicts. If those bears did not have easy access to trash and other human-provided foods, they would likely have just passed through the neighborhood."

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