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Georgia Homeowner Fatally Shoots Black Bear That Wandered in Weston and Wellington -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel.Com


Animals  (tags: sadness, Florida, Georgia, bear, humans, killed, death )

Raffi
- 1834 days ago - sun-sentinel.com
Westley, the wandering black bear, whose journeys brought him too close to homes in Wellington and Weston earlier this year, has died in southeast Georgia, wildlife officials said. He was 3. Westley, estimated to weigh 200 pounds



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Raffi LidoRoiz (312)
Wednesday August 12, 2009, 1:07 pm
Westley, who gained fame in South Florida, dies at age 3
Georgia homeowner fatally shoots black bear that wandered in Weston and Wellington

By Rafael A. Olmeda and Joel Marino South Florida Sun Sentinel

8:37 p.m. EDT, August 11, 2009


Westley, the wandering black bear, whose journeys brought him too close to homes in Wellington and Weston earlier this year, has died in southeast Georgia, wildlife officials said. He was 3.

Westley, estimated to weigh 200 pounds, was killed by a homeowner Saturday with a shotgun after he damaged property and wandered in a residential neighborhood in western Wayne County, said Melissa Cummings, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

"It'd been trying to get into homes, pounding on garages and attempting to get through doors," Cummings said. "The bear had become too accustomed to people."

According to the Florida Times-Union, a homeowner named Ken Boyette saw Westley in his neighborhood Saturday, uncomfortably close to where children were riding bicycles and playing football. He shot Westley, killing him instantly.

Please visit the site to read the rest:
 

Lee B. (82)
Wednesday August 12, 2009, 5:30 pm
Gun happy mother 'effers in south, that's all I've got to say. Hurry up, get the gun and kill it. Stupid morons. Let's just keep building in wildlife territory, so our animals can go live on a postage stamp and eventually become extinct.
 

Gudrun D. (414)
Wednesday August 12, 2009, 5:34 pm
Thank goodness Westley didn't shoot a neighbor. This is cruel. And how traumatized are the children seeing a bear shot & killed in their neighborhood?
 

Catherine Turley (198)
Wednesday August 12, 2009, 6:05 pm
ken boyette needs to move to the city.
 

Lyn C. (70)
Wednesday August 12, 2009, 7:40 pm
Glad I don't live in Boyettes neighborhood. Shotgun folks living in surburban communities scares the heck out of me!! This reminds me of people moving into neighborhoods, knowing darn well there is an airport nearby, and being told before buying, of this very fact, then complaining of the planes going over head being too noisy!

Lync
 

sue M. (184)
Wednesday August 12, 2009, 8:24 pm
What does it take to lift up the phone? I guess as much time it takes to grab a gun and shoot the poor guy huh!
 

Blue Bunting (855)
Wednesday August 12, 2009, 8:26 pm
Don't drive thru Georgia "OCALA" if you have a YANKEE license plate on your car ... you'll be ticketed for whatever the RepubliCON $cum can lie, cheat and $teal about your entance into the $tate.
 

Raffi LidoRoiz (312)
Wednesday August 12, 2009, 9:45 pm
This is out of context-but Westley was all over the place and didn't bother anyone anywhere and then he was near his kids-he was a school in Broward and nothing happened. Boyette could have called his kids in-called wildlife and maybe shot NOT to kill...there's a thought----but so could the idiot who shot the Florida Panther in Georgia from a deer blind...what is it about Georgia-it's on my mind but not in a good way!

see quotes below!

According to the Florida Times-Union, a homeowner named Ken Boyette saw Westley in his neighborhood Saturday, uncomfortably close to where children were riding bicycles and playing football. He shot Westley, killing him instantly.

"I didn't have a choice. He had no fear of humans," Boyette told the Times-Union. "I was afraid it was going to hurt one of the kids or someone else."

Westley, estimated to weigh 200 pounds, was killed by a homeowner Saturday with a shotgun after he damaged property and wandered in a residential neighborhood in western Wayne County, said Melissa Cummings, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Last month, he showed up at Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island, in the Jacksonville area, where he bothered no one, said Florida Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Gabriella Ferraro.

From there he crossed the St. Marys River and visited the town of St. Marys in southeastern Georgia.

Westley had an ear tag, SO11, letting officials know it was the same animal that had wandered through South Florida, Ferraro said.
 

Mary Ann Clark (82)
Thursday August 13, 2009, 8:13 am
What kind of thing is this to teach your kids? It is a tragedy that we still can't co-exist on this planet with the rest of Earth's inhabitants. The life of that bear was worth more than this .She could have taken her children indoors until the bear moved on.
 

Mark G. (36)
Thursday August 13, 2009, 11:24 am
The important thing is to never ever feed bears. I suspect that someone had either fed this bear or made it easy for him to steal food. When this happens they lose their fear of humans and it always ends up tragically for the animal.
Unfortunately this bear's fate was sealed no matter whether he was shot by a homeowner or put down by the DNR.
"Georgia has a "three strikes" policy when it comes to bears roaming around cities: they can be captured and released two times, but they're killed if they're caught a third time, Cummings said. Authorities say they would have put down Westley had they known his Florida history."

 

KRISTENNOPOSTS B. (167)
Thursday August 13, 2009, 11:35 am
I lve many hours from this, but the news and the st. pete times both said it will be open seasonon the black bears...and very lil can be done. Ive got them near here, in fact my ups guy took pix of one a few streets over. I watch my babies, but ... well,,opossums,, racoons,coyotes, fox, armadillo, and many more are her around my home, but thats the price of living in a growing community.. sad huh??
 

Arielle S. (316)
Friday August 14, 2009, 11:13 am
The Georgia creed appears to be "if it moves, kill it" - unfortunately, the southern rednecks are still alive and well but their minds are still closed and blank.
 

Raffi LidoRoiz (312)
Friday August 14, 2009, 1:12 pm

Sending a Green Star is a simple way to say "Thank you"

You cannot currently send a star to Arielle because you have done so within the last week.

AND ALL OF YOU-thanks for your comments-in my opinion this should never have gone the way it did.
 

Mark G. (36)
Friday August 14, 2009, 4:10 pm
In an update on this story the man who shot the bear was the chief of the Screven, Georgia Volunteer Fire Department and was reportedly helping Georgia Department of Natural Resources rangers track the bear. It was also reported that the bear had wandered into a schoolyard where children were playing and was then killed when it tried to enter a residence. DNR officials had decided to euthanize the bear already because it had previously entered a residential garage.
This was not just some "southern redneck" shooting bears for fun.
 

Raffi LidoRoiz (312)
Friday August 14, 2009, 4:23 pm
Thank you Mark-I'll try to find that unless you get in here and have a link for us.
 

Jeanette Steffi G. (189)
Friday August 14, 2009, 11:53 pm
The bear wasn't at fault. Humans are taking up too much land and are depleting animals of their own. He didn't have to shoot the bear. He could have called animal control. And the bear was not doing harm to the children when that man shot the bear.

thanks Rafael.
 

Mark G. (36)
Saturday August 15, 2009, 11:52 am
Raphael I saw it in a northen Fla newspaper online. several had an update of the story including First Coast News and I believe the Fernandina Beach newspaper as well as several others.
 

Raffi LidoRoiz (312)
Saturday August 15, 2009, 12:10 pm
Thanks Mark-I tracked this down-From Fernandina-

http://www.fbnewsleader.com/articles/2009/08/15/news/00newsdeadbear.txt

Wandering bear shot in Georgia

By Emily Heglund, Community Newspapers
Ken Boyette, chief of the Screven, Ga., volunteer fire department, with the bear he shot and killed Saturday. The bear had roamed Amelia Island for two weeks last month. Community Newspapers

A black bear that roamed Amelia Island for two weeks was shot and killed Saturday in Georgia.

A Screven, Ga., man shot and killed the bear after it tried to enter a Wayne County residence, he said.

"He walked right through the middle of town," said Ken Boyette, who shot the bear after it entered a neighbor's backyard.

Boyette, chief of the Screven Volunteer Fire Department, said he had been helping Georgia Department of Natural Resources rangers track the bear earlier that day. The animal reportedly forced children to vacate a basketball court when it wandered into a schoolyard, Boyette said.

"That's too close for us," he said.

After eluding searchers for more than five hours, the bear was finally cornered inside a fenced-in backyard, where Boyette said it seemed unconcerned about the people nearby.

"He just didn't act right to me," he said.

The three-year-old male bear was estimated to weigh between 250 and 275 pounds.

It had been relocated to Wayne County, Ga., where Screven is located, from St. Marys, Ga. The bear, tagged and tracked as S011 in Florida, had been tranquilized and removed Aug. 1 from inside a Sugarmill Plantation garage in St. Marys.

The bear had already been relocated three times this

year. It was first moved from Miami to Palm Beach County, then to the Osceola Wildlife Management Area, which spans Baker and Columbia counties, by Florida Wildlife Service officials.

The bear ventured onto Amelia Island, where it wandered from Fort Clinch State Park to the south end of the island and back numerous times. After garnering widespread attention, it then swam the St. Marys River and wandered into St. Marys.

It was after the bear's removal from inside a residential garage that Georgia wildlife officials decided to euthanize the bear should it again threaten humans.

Adam Hammond, a wildlife technician with the DNR's Armuchee office, said last week that euthanasia is often the only option for bears that lose their fear of humans and alter their natural behavior.

"It's not our first choice to deal with bears," he said. "We just try to evaluate the situation."


If caught at a young age, Hammond said, some bears can be "trained" using scare tactics not to approach people. Older, more experienced bears, however, present more of a problem.

"Bears are very adaptable and they can get used to anything," he said. "Unfortunately, people don't always realize that feeding a bear could lead to it being euthanized."
 
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