A black bear mother and her cub (file photo)
BURNSVILLE, N.C. (AP) - The death of a three-legged black bear in western North Carolina is becoming a flashpoint for outraged wildlife advocates who say the state needs to find non-lethal ways to handle nuisance bears.
Millie Bowling says the state's policy is to shoot bears who have too much contact with humans - and that has to change.
About 5,000 bears live in the western North Carolina mountains, and bear complaints have doubled in the last decade to 671 in 2011.
The three-legged bear had become a fixture in an upscale community north of Asheville. But after he kept breaking into homes, the community decided something had to be done.
Wildlife activist tried to find a sanctuary for him. But he was shot in August before he could be moved.