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Police In Newton Fatally Shoot Bear In Tree

NEWTON, Mass. — State environmental police have shot and killed a bear in a tree over the Massachusetts Turnpike in Newton.

A police officer on Sunday morning used a fire truck ladder to reach the bear, which was 40 feet up in the tree.

“[Officers] determined they were going to try and tranquilize it or immobilize it. They were unsuccessful because of the thick foliage of the trees… So our senior officer made a decision because of the urban environment and because of the population in that area to euthanize the bear,” explained Lt. Col. Chris Baker of the Massachusetts Environmental Police.

Baker said euthanizing an animal is a last resort.

It was previously reported that tranquilizer shots were fired, but Baker affirmed that no such shots actually were fired.

“When we tranquilize a bear or immobilize it, we need to be certain the dart is going to hit. The drugs in the dart are very dangerous,” he said.

Baker also noted that the bear population is increasing in the state.

“As the bear population increases and as urban sprawl increases, we’ve kind of had more of these incidents where bears are traveling into urban environments.”

Baker described the bear as a male, weighing 100 to 125 pounds.

“We try to salvage the meat,” Baker said. “What we do is try to get that to a local sportsman’s club, and they can process it and share the meat with charities and food shelters and such.”

With reporting from the WBUR Newsroom and the Associated Press.

This post has been corrected to reflect that no tranquilizer shots were fired.

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