A large male bear was killed early Monday morning “as a result of the clear, immediate risk to public safety,” according to the Department Environment and Natural Resources (ENR).
“We were dispatched to Forrest Manor to respond to a bear attempting to break into units,” said Mike Westwick, manager of communications and public affairs for ENR. “The bear had ripped a huge hole in a window and entered one apartment where residents were present, and attempted to enter two others.”
Residents driving by spotted the bear eating some garbage, with the on-call officer responding to the situation immediately after being notified at 1:30 a.m.
“The bear showed no fear to humans,” said Westwick.
The officer stayed on scene, informing community members in the area what happened afterwards as “the gunshots were very loud.”
“This was an extremely stressful situation for all involved, and we want to offer our best to residents affected – and thank them for their cooperation as we responded,” Westwick said. “At this time of year, bears can get bolder because they’re trying to get fat for the long winter. That means it’s on all of us to be even more bear aware than usual. Stopping bear interactions starts with your decisions at home, at camp or at your cabin. The number one priority: keep bear attractants inside or in bear-proof containers.”
Westick offered additional tips to aid in bear proofing:
–Bears can consume up to 25,000 calories a day, and the smell of garbage is a dinner bell they’ll remember. Keep your garbage inside (or in a shed) until collection day if you don’t have a bear-proof container.
-Don’t clean fish or field dress animals close to communities, cabins or homes. Tightly seal the remains in plastic bags before disposal, to cut down on smells.
-Consider not planting berry bushes right by your home or harvest the berries as soon as they’re ready.
-Clean up litter and roadside garbage when you can.
-Don’t leave petroleum products or automobile fluid outside – they are a lesser-known bear attractant