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Hunters kill doughnut-loving bear

UPI News Service, 11/25/2010 

A friendly black bear named Bozo was shot and killed by crossbow archer David Price and five companions in northeastern Pennsylvania, officials said.

The man who fed the bear pastries for 17 years is in mourning, and the hunter who killed him is grousing about questions raised over his potential record kill, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

"I'm just devastated," said Leroy Lewis, 71. "I feel like I lost a friend. I fed him for 17 years and I raised him from a cub. He loved doughnuts and anything sweet."

The 879-pound bear had become a neighborhood attraction at Fernwood Resort, a 440-acre Pocono Mountain retreat. Lewis was ordered to stop feeding the animal in September, after someone tipped off officials; feeding bears and elk is illegal in Pennsylvania.

But when crossbow archer David Price heard about a big bear being spotted at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in northeastern Pennsylvania, he and his friends loaded up and went hunting.

"We have a saying in wildlife management -- a fed bear is a dead bear," said Pennsylvania Game Commission spokesman Jerry Feaser. "When people feed wildlife and treat them like pets, they become habituated to humans. They're less wary and may even approach people, expecting to be fed. That will often put the animal at higher risk of vehicle collision, of becoming a nuisance by getting into people's garbage and bird feeders, or even approaching other humans, assuming they'll find food."

It also puts them at risk of being shot.

"This may be the peak of my hunting career, and it's tainted, it really is," Price said.

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