Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries personnel captured an adult male Louisiana black bear in Port Allen on Tuesday night. Because the bear had become habituated and too reliant on human food sources, the decision was made to euthanize the animal.
“We’ve worked so hard to re-establish the Louisiana black bear population in our state and any time we have to euthanize one it is a hard decision,’’ LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said. “This is always a last resort in these cases. Unfortunately, bears like this one, that have become too dependent on human food sources, cannot be successfully relocated. Public safety is our utmost concern and that’s why this difficult call was made.’’
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, LDWF Biologist Supervisor Scott Durham said. This particular bear demonstrated dangerous behaviors in his search for human sourced food, therefore the decision was made to euthanize the bear.
The 200-pound bear was trapped by LDWF personnel Tuesday around 8:30 p.m. The bear initially appeared in Port Allen on Saturday and returned to the neighborhood area on Tuesday, rummaging through garbage cans and porches for food. LDWF strives in all human-bear conflicts 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.
Here are some practices that will limit human-bear conflicts:
- 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 BBQ 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.