This 90-pound yearling black bear in downtown Long Lake was shot and killed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation because it was being a nuisance and getting too close to humans because people were feeding it.
continued Winchell said the DEC always conducts an investigation, which includes speaking to witnesses, before the decision is made to shoot an animal.
The bear shot on Morrissey’s property fit the description of a bear the DEC had been receiving calls about, an animal that was visiting trash cans at the local Stewart’s and making rounds in people’s yards, one of which had an apple tree that the bear particularly enjoyed.
“The thing that really concerned us with this one is the fact that it had approached a young child,” Winchell said, referring to a report made recently to the DEC.
So far this year, the DEC has killed seven black bears in Region 5, which Long Lake is in, and at least seven in Region 6 in the western Adirondacks.
A high bear population and the dry summer are thought to be the reason for the increase in nuisance bears.
Winchell stressed that feeding the animals puts them at risk, and that it is also illegal.
To avoid tempting bears, people should also put their garbage cans, pet food and bird feeders indoors at night, where they aren’t easily accessible.
Studies also show that bears that have become accustomed to human interaction are more likely to get hit by motor vehicles because they are closer to civilization than bears eating food in the wild, according to Winchell.
“The biggest word that we’re trying to get out with this event is that it could have been avoided if people had not fed the bear,” Winchell said. “The important thing is for people not to feed bears, either directly or indirectly.”