By Scottie Andrew and Brian Ries, CNN
(CNN) — Oregon wildlife officials say they were forced to kill a friendly young black bear after it grew too familiar with people who regularly fed it and took selfies with it.
Since the beginning of June, Oregon police received frequent calls about the bear, usually seen near its favorite boat ramp at Henry Hagg Lake, about 15 miles west of the Portland suburbs.
On Wednesday, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office posted a Twitter warning to stay away from the area as deputies tried to encourage the animal to leave the ramp. Shortly thereafter, they tweeted that it had wandered into the woods.
But the next day, the bear had returned. It was seen next to a pile of trail mix and sunflower seeds that appeared to have been left behind intentionally by some passersby.
Wildlife officials concluded the bear had grown too habituated to human interaction and could pose a threat to people’s safety, so they made the decision to shoot and kill it.
The 100-pound bear was 2 or 3 years old and could have been relocated if it hadn’t grown so accustomed to human contact, Rick Swart of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife told CNN.
The sheriff’s Twitter feed was flooded by commenters outraged that an alternative solution hadn’t been pursued, but the officials insisted that relocation wasn’t an option.
Wildlife biologist Kurt Licence said: “This is a classic example of why we implore members of the public not to feed bears. While the individuals who put food out for this bear may have had good intentions, bears should never, ever be fed.”
It’s illegal in Oregon to lure an animal by scattering food or leaving garbage.
Deputies are working to get this bear cub near Hagg Lake to go back into the woods… please stay away from the area near Boat Ramp A. pic.twitter.com/tI8m5yTbyk
— WCSO Oregon (@WCSOOregon) June 13, 2019