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Bear shot and killed in Ave Maria after charging wildlife officer

1:40 PM, Oct 2, 2012   |    comments
A black bear mother and her cub (file photo)
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Ave Maria, Florida (News-Press) -- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says an adult male black bear shot and killed by an FWC officer Sunday in Collier County was likely attracted to the area because of an availability of food.

Spokeswoman Carli Segelson said FWC initially wanted to tranquilize and relocate the bear, but it charged an officer after it was tracked to an Ava Maria neighborhood.

She said the bear approached a house, and then approached the officer. The officer tried to back away, but the bear continued to follow at a quicker pace, and it was then that the bear was shot and killed.

"This behavior is typical of Florida black bears," Segelson said., adding that they are usually timid around people.

There were previous attempts made by FWC to trap the bear.

The bear weighed 235 lbs.

Segelson said there have recently been several black bear sightings in the area, and it appears this particular bear lost its fear of humans.

She said food is the main reason black bears venture into populated areas.

"Digging through a garbage can is easier than looking for berries in the woods," Segelson said.

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