UPDATE - Bear Shot With Jar On Head

Fergus Falls Journal, Bear Hunting Magazine

UPDATED 8-1-2008
The police chief in Frazee says his department has been fielding threats for killing a bear that had wandered into town with a jar on its head. Chief Mike Lorsung says some e-mails and phone calls have referred to putting a jar over an officer's head and shooting him, or chopping off certain body parts.

Police shot and killed the bear Saturday after it had wandered into the northwestern Minnesota city during its busy Turkey Days celebration. Officers with the Department of Natural Resources had been tracking the bear for six days and had hoped to capture it and remove the 2 1/2-gallon plastic jar from its head. But the agency ordered Frazee officers to shoot it over concerns about public safety.

Minnesota wildlife officials tried for six days to capture a bear that had a plastic jar stuck over its head, but ended up killing the animal after it wandered into a city during a festival. The wild black bear, whose head got stuck inside a 2 1/2-gallon clear plastic jug presumably while foraging for food, ambled into the city of Frazee, about 200 miles northwest of the Twin Cities, during the town's busy Turkey Days celebration.

"When it got into town, our main concern was public safety," said Rob Naplin, the Department of Natural Resources' area wildlife supervisor in Park Rapids.
The bear was first reported near the town of Lake George, about 60 miles east of Frazee, on July 21. While the bear could breathe, it couldn't eat or drink and was likely suffering from dehydration and hunger. "I'm sure there was high anxiety and frustration with its predicament," Naplin said.

There was no evidence the bear was baited by hunters, Naplin said. The legal baiting season doesn't open until Aug. 15. The bear season opens Sept. 1.

In the six days that followed the initial sighting of the bear, officials tried to trap it, tranquilize it in numerous locations, but to no avail. By the time the animal showed up in Frazee, conservation officers decided it needed to be killed to avoid conflicts with humans. "You don't want it knocking over a kid or getting hit by a car," Naplin said. "Showing up in Frazee escalated the urgency of dispatching it."

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