Bears Died from Eating Poison Plants, Says Game Commission

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WEST WYOMING -- State game officials say four bears found dead in Luzerne County were poisoned but not by a person.

The mother bear and her three cubs were found earlier this month near a church parking lot in West Wyoming.

Conservation officers considered the deaths suspicious, but after examining two of the bears, the game commission now says they died from eating English yew plants.


Photo provided by Pennsylvania Game Commission

The shrubs are used in landscaping and are fairly common. Officials say a compound in yew, called taxine, is highly toxic to humans and animals if ingested.

For a list of plants that are toxic to pets, click here.


  • Russell Kaub

    Why does pa vehicle registration plate only require one in the back and not one on the front of vehicle….most states have both front and rear plates if we had this requirement the photo you posted on a alleged persons vehicle that tried to abduct a 15 year old would have been a great asset in solving this matter. it showed only the front of vehicle

  • mark LaVerdi

    I like the Pennsylvania Game Commission to go back in the last 50 years and tell me when this has ever happened before in the state of Pennsylvania and I would like you to respond with an answer to this post


    I’m more concerned with fact that I grew up with this shrub, it surrounded my entire house. We used to throw them at each other. And a lot of other homes in the neighborhood had them as well. Why would these shrubs be used for landscaping if they’re so toxic?

  • Stop Lying

    Oh, and there are no mountain lions too. Politics should not be included in nature. Nature is purer than anyone with a sleeve patch.


        you are the idiot, bears have instinct into what to eat and not, probably a planted poison like the other guys says, Game commission hasn’t batted right on issues like this,, like the time they said beavers were causing the Giardia outbreak at Springbrook, when it turned out to be sewage from humans in a watershed that could no longer filter naturally.

    • George Brandon Stivers

      You would think Elk, Reindeer etc etc would know that traveling through lots of deep river water for an extended amount of time is deadly. Yet they do so, year after year after year over and over again while a good portion of their herd dies. It’s called nature. Just like humans, other animals don’t make the best of choices. “You would think, a deer would know better not to cross a highway… Yet how many get killed by doing so?

  • None of Yoir Business

    How much do you want to bet someone set out food and put those berries in it? Bears, and all other animals for that matter, know what to eat, and what not to. Animals know.

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