BATON ROUGE, La. (The Livingston Parish News) – A 3-year-old Louisiana black bear found in Baton Rouge was euthanized because it was deemed “a human safety risk” after becoming “too reliant” on food from human sources, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).
The black bear was spotted Monday and captured by LDWF agents Tuesday morning near I-110 in north Baton Rouge. The bear had previously been captured in St. Mary Parish and relocated to a remote central Louisiana LDWF Wildlife Management Area.
Young male bears can sometimes be successfully relocated “due to their innate instinct to seek their own home range as they disperse from their mothers,” LDWF Large Carnivore Program Manager Maria Davidson said in a statement.
But when a bear has learned to access human sourced food associated with residential areas, “it can cause a behavior progression that becomes a human safety risk,” Davidson said.
“This bear demonstrated dangerous behaviors in his search for human sourced food, therefore the decision was made to euthanize him rather than attempt to relocate him again,” Davidson said.
LDWF officials said they strive to educate the public about removing all the attractants that have caused bears to stray into human populated areas.
“However, because some have become dangerously human habituated, that isn’t always possible, as was the case this time,” LDWF said in a statement.
To help limit human-bear conflicts, LDWF officials released some practices for people to follow:
- Never feed or approach bears.
- Secure food, garbage, and recycling.
- Remove bird feeders when bears are active.
- Never leave pet food outdoors.
- Clean and store grills.
- Let your neighbors know if you see bears in your area.
For more information on how to prevent human/bear conflicts, visit https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/louisiana-bear-wise.
David Gray | The News