Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Vermont Game Wardens Euthanize Aggressive Bear in Underhill

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department responded to an aggressive bear in Underhill at approximately 6:30 am on Friday, May 24. The bear’s behavior was judged a risk to public safety, and the bear was euthanized after a period of observation.

In light of this incident, the department is reminding Vermonters of the steps necessary to proactively prevent bear conflicts. It is crucial to secure all food sources that attract bears to yards and neighborhoods including garbage, recycling, and backyard chickens and bees. To be most effective, whole neighborhoods and towns need to be consistent in keeping bear attractants secure.

The bear euthanized this morning in Underhill was attracted into an area resident’s yard by recycling left outside the front door this morning. The bear repeatedly returned to the homeowner’s yard after initially being scared away at approximately 5:15 am, despite the fact that the homeowner removed the recycling and no other unsecured food sources were present on their property. After returning, the bear showed no fear of people and acted aggressively.

A game warden responded to the homeowner’s call and confirmed that the bear’s behavior was aggressive. After the bear adopted a predatory stance with its head lowered and began to approach and circle the responding game warden, the warden euthanized the bear.

“No one wants bear conflicts to escalate to the point that killing the bear is necessary to protect public safety,” said Game Warden Lt. Robert Currier. “Vermonters have a responsibility to stop these kinds of conflicts before they escalate by making sure bears are not attracted to our homes by easy access to foods like unsecured garbage, birdfeeders, or unprotected backyard chickens and bees. Proactive conflict prevention is the safest thing for the bears, and for people.”

This bear was an individual of roughly 100 lbs., that had been reported for aggressive behavior by multiple landowners in the area over the past several weeks. Information on preventing conflicts with bears before they escalate is available on the department’s website.