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Bear killed for eating chickens

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A bear that had wandered into San Luis Obispo and killed chickens in a residential area was itself killed on the night of June 26.

Under order from the California Department of Fish and Game, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services trapper euthanized a young, male black bear that had wandered from the hills outside SLO and was found feasting on neighborhood chickens on several occasions.

Fish and Game Biologist Bob Stafford said the agency is legally required to give a “depredation” permit to kill an animal if residents make a request and the agency confirms the animal has done “damage.” In this case, the damage was to the chickens and their enclosures. Two residents requested a permit.

“From there we have to write the permit for them to take the bear,” he said.

Stafford said he was going to perform a necropsy on the bear to see if there was a reason it had wandered from the wild. The bear wasn’t responding to attempts to scare it away from the neighborhood. Fish and Game sometimes darts and moves wild animals, but when a permit is requested, the agency has to allow the animal to be killed, he said.

However, since bears live in the area, Stafford said more of the animals will surely wander into neighborhoods as they’re known to do every year. In fact, it’s up to residents to be cautious and pick up food, for example, to avoid attracting bears out of the wild.

“What we don’t want to have happen is have another bear getting used to this area,” Stafford said.

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