Bear Down: Broward Beast Shot Dead in Georgia

Bear put down after he gets too close for comfort

The black bear who roamed the neighborhoods of South Florida for weeks earlier in the year has met his fate in Southeast Georgia after he broke into a home and refused to avoid humans.

The bold bear had been seen in backyards and streets throughout Weston and Wellington, mostly avoiding people while foraging for food in April and May.

He was relocated twice in Florida, but when he was finally brought to Osceola National Forest, he just couldn't stay away from people. He crossed into Georgia, where he was captured once again after it broke into a garage earlier in the month but was released once again. 

He was shot Saturday after he broke into yet another home in a small town called Screvin and apparently got too close to children.

“I didn’t have a choice. He had no fear of humans,” Ken Boyette, the man who shot the bear, told the Florida Times-Union. “I was afraid it was going to hurt one of the kids or someone else.”

The three-year-old, 200-pound bear died instantly.

“He was real docile and showed me no aggression. I felt like I was shooting a dog, he was that docile,” said Boyette, who said he'd never killed a bear before Saturday.

Officials said the bear had likely been rummaging through garbage and had started to associate humans with mealtime. Officials with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said the shooting was justified.

The bear was the first one spotted in Broward County in nearly 30 years.

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