FOREST GROVE, Ore. — State wildlife biologists said they were forced to take lethal action and kill a black bear that was spotted near a popular boat ramp at Henry Hagg Lake multiple times in the last week.
The bear kept returning to the same area because people left food out for it, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Police officers were called to the area several times.
Biologists saw the bear eating trail mix, sunflower seeds, cracked corn and other foods left near the intersection of Scoggins Valley Road and Herr Road.
Biologists cannot relocate bears that become habituated to humans because they are more likely to have dangerous interactions with humans in the future, said ODFW spokesperson Rick Swart.
“This is a classic example of why we implore members of the public not to feed bears,” said wildlife biologist Kurt Licence. “While the individuals who put food out for this bear may have had good intentions bears should never, ever be fed.”
Authorities learned about the bear from posts on social media. Several people shared selfie photos of themselves with the animal, Swart said.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday tweeted that deputies were working to get a bear near Hagg Lake to return to the woods. Officials confirmed the bear was the same one that was killed.
It is against state law to “scatter food, garbage or any other attractant so as to knowingly constitute a lure, enticement or attractant for potentially habituated wildlife,” ODFW said.
“It’s never a good idea to feed wild animals,” said Licence. “They are perfectly capable of fending for themselves, and it’s always better to leave them alone and enjoy them from a safe distance.”
Editor's note: A previous version of this story referred to the bear as a cub. It was determined to be a 2-3 year old bear, according to ODFW.
From last year: Black bear wandering Gresham killed