Skip to Content

Animal advocates say dept. ignored rehoming alternatives after agency euthanizes young bear

Click here for updates on this story

    ASHLAND, Oregon (KPTV) — Animal rights activists are upset after a young bear was euthanized near Ashland and the good Samaritan who tried to help it was issued a citation.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife argues it was the right decision to kill the bear, but animal advocates say the agency ignored alternatives.

Last Wednesday, a local volunteer fire chief found the bear on Highway 66 near Ashland. He said he called the Oregon State Police and ODFW, but neither agency could immediately come to help him. So, he rescued the bear from the highway and brought it to his property until he could find it a safe place to go.

Meanwhile, an accredited sanctuary called Lions Tigers & Bears based near San Diego was making arrangements to transport and rehome the bear, and provide it medical care. But before they could get there, ODFW and OSP officers arrived at the fire chief’s home and OSP issued the fire chief a citation for ‘holding wildlife without a permit’ before killing the bear.

Animal advocates say ODFW ignored rehoming alternatives after agency euthanizes young bear found near Ashland
KPTV file image

“These agencies have criminalized human kindness. They have such a pro-killing bias within their internal culture that they really show their open contempt for kindhearted people by punishing them when they try to do the right thing for wildlife in need,” said Scott Beckstead, the director of campaigns for Animal Wellness Action and The Center for a Humane Economy.

ODFW said the yearling bear (which means more than a year old) showed obvious signs of habituation like a loss of fear of people. This, the agency spokesperson said, was the reason to euthanize by sedating the bear then shooting it, which is a humane method of killing according to ODFW.

The agency spokesperson for ODFW also said the bear was considered a poor candidate for placement into a permanent facility because, “We do not believe it is humane to put a free ranging bear into captivity…To put a yearling bear that’s been free ranging over 10 miles into a captive facility for the rest of its life is not something we support.”

Beckstead told FOX 12 he’s seen time and time again that animals are killed even when other options exist, and something needs to change.

“There needs to be a fundamental, top to bottom reassessment of how these agencies approach cases of wildlife in need and the kind people that are trying to help,” said Beckstead.

ODFW wants to remind people not to feed bears, which is against the law, because that is how they get habituated, meaning releasing them back into the wild isn’t an option. The agency did not feel this was a viable option either for the Ashland bear, because it was not safe for the public.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

Article Topic Follows: National-World

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content