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An adult male black bear takes a nap, laid out in in a comfortable spot around 10 a.m. in a large oak tree on Avenue G in Port Allen, where he was hanging out after being seen on the streets early in the morning, Sunday, April 25, 2021. The bear eventually came down from the tree, and a tranquilizer shot was attempted by mid-afternoon, but the shot may have hit the bear in the shoulder blade and been ineffective, as it soon scampered back up high in the tree,. He was expected to stay there until dark or well after, according to LDWF Lafayette Region Manager Tony Vidrine, who was on the scene. The Lafayette region extends to the west side of the Mississippi River.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries killed a black bear in Port Allen because of its reliance on human food sources.

LDWF captured the 200-pound adult male Louisiana black bear around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, the agency said in a news release. Officials say they decided to euthanize the animal because it had grown too accustomed to scrounging for food from trash cans and porches in the area.

The bear made his initial foray into Port Allen on Saturday and returned to the neighborhood Tuesday, according to LDWF. 

"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, it puts people at risk, LDWF Biologist Supervisor Scott Durham explained.

LDWF said it strives to educate the public about the importance of removing food and other things that lure bears into human-populated areas.

Below are some LDWF recommendations for preventing bears from coming into contact with people.

  • 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.

Click here for more information.


Email Alyssa Berry at aberry@theadvocate.com.