People react to killing of bear in Marshfield - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

People react to killing of bear in Marshfield

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MARSHFIELD (WAOW)-- Police told Newsline 9 they did what they felt they needed to in order to keep people safe. But some residents who live in the city and saw the bear often say it wasn't a threat to anyone.

"I heard a boom, boom, boom, boom. And I thought, 'Oh, that sounds like gunshots. I wonder if I should call the police department?'," Gwen Jensen said.

She heard those shots Monday night as she was getting ready for bed.

"And then I thought, "Oh, I hope they didn't shoot the bear.'"

But they did. Police killed a black bear on Marshfield's west side, close to Jensen's home. She said it's the same bear that used to wander into her yard to eat birdseed.

"I know he's a wild animal and can be dangerous, but we never saw any display of aggression." Police disagree, saying the bear was getting too close for comfort.

"We knew going in that this was going to be a situation that we could not win," Marshfield Police Chief Gary Jepsen said. He told Newsline 9 they tried everything to remove the bear.

"We tried culvert traps, we tried snare traps. So, we needed to move to some alternate means to take care of the bear so to speak," he said. After meeting with wildlife officials, he made the decision to kill the animal.

"Killing the bear is always the absolute last resort," DNR spokesperson Ed Culhane said. "It was exhibiting no fear at all of people or their pets."

But critics sounded off on Newsline 9's facebook page. Lois said, "Why didn't they just shoot it with a dart and move it? How inhumane."

Daniel argued, "It was an animal that was getting too comfortable in the city...get over it."

Police said killing the bear was the only option left. "We felt as though we could no longer take a chance on safety," Jepsen said.

Gwen Jensen is sad things ended this way, but she said she understands why. "I'm sure they did what they thought was best."

Online Reporter: Bonnie Shelton

 

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