Why wildlife officials killed the bear roaming Spokane County instead of capturing it

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — After Fish and Wildlife officers killed an elusive bear that was roaming the Northwood neighborhood north of Spokane Valley, many are wondering why they didn’t capture it instead.

To put it short, it was mainly because of the behavior of the bear, and it was getting too comfortable around humans.

The bear had been eating people’s chickens and showed up on front and back porches, which is not typical bear behavior.

After bears know about a non-natural food source or are fed by humans, they usually keep coming back for more. After a while, these bears lose their fear of people, which can put humans at risk.

After bears get used to these non-natural food sources, relocation is less successful because the bear has become accustomed to the previous environment.

In the case of the Northwood bear, it had already established itself in the neighborhood, meaning killing the bear was the most viable option for the safety of the public.

The decision to kill a bear is made through coordination between Fish and Wildlife biologists, wildlife conflict specialists, law enforcement, and other experts.

Remember, do not leave out any food sources that could attract bears. Feeding bears, whether it be voluntarily or involuntarily, is illegal in Washington.

READ: Washington Fish and Wildlife Officers kill black bear that had been roaming Northwood neighborhood