Two six-month-old cubs will now have to survive on their own after officials from the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) euthanized the mother bear after an incident involving a woman walking her dog along a trail in the Simsbury Town Forest Park in Connecticut.
According to WtnhNews, a 41-year-old woman had been walking on a trail Wednesday afternoon with her Labrador retriever when she came around a corner and encountered a bear with her cubs. The bear became scared, but the woman did what she was supposed to and shouted to scare the bear off. As the bear attempted to escape, it ran past the woman, but not without scratching the back of the woman’s legs. The woman did not require any medical attention. Unfortunately the tragic fate of the bear had just been sealed.
Dennis Schain, spokesperson for the DEEP stated the bear was killed shortly after the incident. The mother bear had a tracking collar enabling officials to find her and euthanize her. Animal advocates are calling this a “tragedy.” In a statement reported by MassLive.com, Annie Hornish, Connecticut Senior State Director for the Humane Society of the United States wrote:
“It’s a tragedy that this mother bear was killed, and even more heartbreaking is that her young cubs, who would have relied on their mother up to 18 months, will now likely die from predation or starvation. Black bears are highly sentient and family oriented creatures, who are greatly valued by most Americans. We must endeavor to better co-adapt to living with them and mindfully recreate in their last remaining habitats.”
DEEP says the bear was euthanized to follow a policy where protocol demands when a bear exhibits aggressive behavior, it is deemed a public safety hazard. Perhaps what really makes this a tragic call by the DEEP, is the woman involved declined medical treatment at the scene and did not require any emergency followup at a hospital. Apparently the startled bear was killed because she was protecting her cubs when faced with a dog.
Rest in peace mother bear; we can only hope your cubs survive.
(Photo of mother bear via screenshot Patch)
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