A state environmental conservation officer shot and killed a young black bear Tuesday in Long Lake.
State Department of Environmental Conservation spokesman Dave Winchell said the bear was killed because it had lost its fear of humans after being fed by them.
"This weekend it approached a young child, coming within 4 or 5 feet of it," Winchell told the Enterprise in an email.
Winchell said the bear had been seen in the Long Lake numerous times over the last several months. It was reported to DEC that its mother was killed and that people had been feeding the young bear, Winchell said.
"It has become habituated to obtaining food from humans and lost its fear of them," Winchell said. "Therefore it was a threat to human health and safety and had to be euthanized."
The bear is the 13th nuisance bear to be killed in the Adirondacks this summer by the DEC, homeowners and farmers.
In DEC's Region 5, which encompasses the northern and eastern parts of the Adirondacks, there have been seven nuisance bears killed by DEC staff, homeowners and farmers.
The DEC put down six nuisance bears this summer in the Old Forge area alone. The department killed another this winter in the Tug Hill region, just west of the Adirondacks.
Biologists have said the increase in nuisance bear activity was due to the dry weather this summer, which caused food sources to be scarce for the animals. The bear population is also believed to be increasing, in part because last year was an abundant year for bear food, which allowed the animals to have a successful reproductive season.
Contact Mike Lynch at 518-891-2600 ext. 28 or firstname.lastname@example.org.