By Thomas Garcia
Logan police officers shot a black bear to death on June 6, saying they did so in the interest of public safety.
Officers said they located the bear about 9:30 p.m. on June 6 in a tree in the neighborhood of Perch and Sunfish in the village of Logan, said Logan Police Chief Bob Gore.
Gore said two bears had been reported in neighborhoods near Ute Lake State Park in the past week. Officials had made several unsuccessful attempts to locate the bears prior to Monday.
Gore said New Mexico Department of Game and Fish officials advised police to put the animal down.
Gore said the bear had been spotted on a picnic table and was rummaging through the garbage of several residences. He said there had not been any reports of the bear attacking any humans or animals prior to it being killed.
Dan Williams, spokesman for Game and Fish, said that once a bear begins to eat “human food,” the activity becomes a habitual occurrence that could result in an encounter with humans. He said the animal was showing no fear of humans and had been spotted several times in residential areas.
Officials said the bear was about 2 years old, but did not provide information about its size.
Online resources show 2-year-old black bears in New Mexico typically weigh 75 pounds to 125 pounds.
Williams said he is still researching when the last time a black bear had been spotted in Logan or put down in the area.