BEACH LAKE – Roadkill reported to the Pennsylvania Game Commission on a dirt road turned into be a “bear” of a problem. Conservation officers say a black bear was found shot dead along Branning Road.
“It is fairly uncommon. Usually people are pretty tolerant of the bears in the area because we have such a robust bear population here in Wayne County,” said Wildlife Conservation Officer James McCarthy.
The bear weighed about 550 pounds.
Al Baernklau lives just down the road from where it all happened and thinks he saw the bear just hours before.
“Out of season, you don`t do that. This was a beautiful creature. Walked through here yesterday morning right here in front of the garage,” said Baerenklau.
Now neighbors and conservation officers are working to figure out who would do this and why.
“The process that we have to go through, it`s just like any other crime scene that any police department would have. We have forensics work we do,” said Officer McCarthy.
Whoever is responsible could be fined up to $15,000 dollars and face jail time.
In nearby Clinton Township, neighbors are working to get rid of a pesky bear by having the Game Commission set up a trap. They think shooting a bear out of season is wrong, especially if it is for sport.
“Well if it`s a threat I could see it but, if it ain`t out there to bother anybody, let it go,” said Brian Dixon of Clinton Township.
“People have to come to the realization that they have to coexist with these black bears and there are simple things that they can do to keep the bears away,” said Officer McCarthy.
Wildlife officers say limiting food sources is the best way to keep bears away, but even with traps and other precautions, those living here in Wayne County know:
A bear’s a bear. It’s going to do what it’s going to do,” said Dixon.
Conservation officers also say it is illegal to put out food for bears – whether it’s intentionally for bears or not.
Anyone with information about this bear shooting in Wayne County is asked to call the Pennsylvania Game Commission.