California Campers Shoot ‘Safeway Bear’ Known for Raiding Stores

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

The bear was emaciated and had rotten teeth

A family camping in the Sierra Nevada shot and killed a nuisance black bear known for raiding local stores.

According to ABC News, the large family, which was camping with several young children, shot the bear when their repeated efforts to scare it away from their campsite in Alpine County, California, failed.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, that the roughly 15-year-old black bear dubbed the “Safeway Bear” was shot in early August.

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The bear first made the news last year when it was filmed inside a Safeway and a Chevron convenience store as well as in other stores on Lake Tahoe’s North Shore.

The agency said in a statement that the 500-pound bear was also responsible for “crashing Kings Beach get-togethers, helping itself to birthday cake and other treats and prompting widespread concern.”

Wildlife officers trapped and tagged the bear in September 2020. They fitted it with a GPS collar and relocated it to a remote area in El Dorado County. But the collar came off and was found this past spring.

The agency said the family shot the bear when it repeatedly approached their campsite, after they had attempted to shoo it away several times.

The animal “was a shell of its former self, completely emaciated, its teeth rotten,” the wildlife agency said.

According to the statement, one CDFW biologist said that “the actions of the shooter was the most humane outcome for this bear.”

Wildlife officers ruled the shooting justified.

Authorities encourage people to not feed bears because those that become dependent on human food often become a threat and have to be put down.

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