Wild black bear killed in Central California town; wildlife officials report rise in sightings

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VISALIA, California — Officials say they killed a wild black bear that at least twice has wandered into Central California communities.

Visalia Police Department Sgt. Chris McLain told the Visalia Times-Delta on Friday (http://vtd-tar.co/1xImyUU ) that he spotted the female bear near an elementary school. State Fish and Wildlife officials then cornered it hiding near some condominiums.

Fish and Wildlife spokesman Kyle Orr says three weeks earlier the same bear had been captured in Earlimart, 40 miles south of Visalia along Highway 99.

He says the bear wasn't aggressive, but because it is likely to return, they had to kill it.

Orr says there are more than 30,000 wild black bears in California, and the number is steadily growing.

He says recently there's been an increase in bears wandering into communities searching for food.


Information from: Visalia Times-Delta.

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