A Louisiana black bear was killed Tuesday night after being hit by an automobile and then shot by a Walker Police officer following a close encounter at the accident scene.
A Walker Police Department officer arrived on the scene at Burgess Ave. near Tiffany St. around 11 p.m. to investigate the auto incident and determine what kind of animal the vehicle had struck. The driver was not able to identify the animal before it moved into a wooded area near the accident site. While searching the wooded area for the animal that was struck, the officer came upon the black bear, startling the injured bear and forcing the officer to react in self defense.
Dr. Jim LaCour, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) veterinarian, determined the bear had moderate to severe internal injuries from the vehicle accident, but could not determine if the bear would have survived those injuries.
The bear was an adult male weighing between 350 and 400 pounds. LDWF records indicate the bear was previously captured in 2008 in Patterson, but had not been reported as a nuisance bear since. Nuisance bears are captured, tagged and released using aversive conditioning in an effort to dissuade them from returning to residential areas.
"The breeding season is June and July for black bears in Louisiana, so we are right in the middle of their peak activity," said Maria Davidson, LDWF large carnivore program manager. "Male bears will travel miles daily to look for possible mates and will cross roadways in the process."
Homeowners are reminded that bears are naturally shy and usually avoid contact with people. Anyone seeing a bear in their neighborhood should retreat to a safe area and call the LDWF 24-hour hotline: 1-800-442-2511.
For more information, contact Maria Davidson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 225-931-3061.