The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation said a black bear killed after seeing trees climbing in the Norman backyard was a “danger to the public”
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NORMAN, Oklahoma (KFOR) – It was an odd situation for the owners in Norman on Wednesday night.
Authorities say a young black bear was seen wandering backyards and climbing trees in the Berry and Lindsey area of ââNorman around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Cell phone video captured the moment the 150-pound bear fell from a tree in Meredith Dunn’s yard.
“People would contact us saying ‘there is a bear in a house in Norman and you should be careful’, I had no idea this was my garden!” Dunn said.
Dunn and her 11-year-old daughter were in Ardmore when they first learned the bear was in their backyard.
They rushed home to find the animal still there.
âWhen you see it in person it was a lot bigger,â she said.
Dunn and her daughter have stayed inside and say they never felt unsafe.
Meanwhile, outside, wildlife teams tried to lull the bear to sleep using tranquilizers.
âWe watched for probably a good hour and a half, two hours while all the crews tried to coax him,â Dunn said.
Officials say these tranquilizers haven’t worked well enough.
“Once the bear was on the ground, moved, and maybe injured, those tranquilizers wore off pretty quickly, and there was nowhere for this bear to go where it wasn’t.” wasn’t going to meet people, âsaid Micah Holmes, spokesperson for the Department of Wildlife Conservation.
After falling from the tree, the bear headed across the yard.
That’s when wildlife officials say they were forced to shoot him down and kill him.
âObviously, this isn’t the outcome we were looking for, and it’s not the outcome that I was hoping she would see or hear,â Dunn said.
The department says the reason the bear was shot was because it was a “danger to the public.”
âWe don’t want to shoot the bear,â Holmes said. “We all care about animals, that’s why we’re in this business, we want to see these healthy populations, we want to see this bear moving, but we don’t want to do it at the expense of public safety.”
Wildlife officials told News 4 they were running out of tranquilizers at the scene.
They will now take a sample of teeth and hair so the animal can learn its exact age and where it might have come from.
In one Facebook post, WildCare Oklahoma responded to the news of the bear’s death, stating in part, âAs human development continues to expand into the wilderness, events like the one that happened last night are likely to increase as wild animals attempt to find food, water and shelter in increasingly suburban and urban environments.
WARNING: The following is a graphic cellphone video of Oklahoma wildlife officers shooting and killing the bear. This can be disturbing for some.
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