Missouri Department of Conservation explains why bear caught in Joplin was euthanized

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JOPLIN, Mo. – After authorities catch a bear just East of Range Line in Joplin Thursday night, Missouri conservationists are forced to euthanize it.

The MDC says the nearly 150 pound, two year old bear had just gotten so used to living off of human food. The bear would always return to humans to find it and that posed a threat to people and property. The conservation department first received a report about a bear in Joplin on July 1st. Conservationists gave residents rubber bullets to deter the bear from their homes. The bear actually destroyed bee hives and killed a chicken. Because of that, the department says the bear couldn’t live in the wild and euthanized it.

“In those kinds of situations, bears just can’t function in the wild anymore. If we would’ve tried to relocate it, we would have just been moving the problem because it would have started looking for human provided food sources there.”

Francis Skalicky, Missouri Dept. of Conservation Media Specialist

Francis adds if the Department of Conservation moved the bear to a remote location where bear density is higher, the bear could have been killed by a more dominant male. He’s seen animals lose their wildness before and unfortunately this is another case.

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