Video Of Black Bear Results In Charges

Posted at 7:31 PM, Jul 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-31 19:31:32-04

(EKB News) A video showing a man trying to feed a black bear has resulted in the black bear being euthanized.

The video got the attention of officers and biologists with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife.

They learned that the video was filmed on the Virginia side of Black Mountain. 

Sgt. Homer Pigman with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife said that had this happened on the Kentucky side of the mountain, the man would have been charged with harassing wildlife. 

Pigman said that while officers were talking with Jonathan Shelton about his video, they found the skull of a black bear. Shelton, who lives in Kentucky, was charged with the illegal take of wildlife.

Pigman also told EKB News that within a few hours of that video being shown to Fish and Wildlife officers, the biologists from Virginia’s Department of Fish and Wildlife found the bear in the video and euthanized it.

He said that once a bear is fed by a human, it will associate humans with a "handout" of food, which could lead to the bear approaching humans for food. 

"Had they left it alone, left it wild, that bear could still be roaming the mountains of Virginia or Kentucky," he said. 

There are signs all over the Kentucky side of Black Mountain, warning people not to feed bears. Pigman said that if you are caught feeding a bear, you will face consequences.