Neighbors Mad at Woman Who Had Bear Killed

It kept breaking into her home
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 7, 2016 5:31 PM CDT
Neighbors Mad at Woman Who Had Bear Killed
A California black bear.   (AP Photo/Brian Melley)

A mother of three has provoked a backlash for having a bear shot after it repeatedly broke into her Southern California mountain home, the AP reports. "I haven't regretted my decision at all. But the way the people in this town initially responded was initially disheartening," Julie Faith Strauja tells the San Bernardino Sun. "I've had death threats and my address posted all over social media." Strauja moved to this community of about 1,000 in the San Bernardino Mountains last month. A self-proclaimed animal lover, she became worried after a bear repeatedly entered her home two weekends ago. "I have three little kids, and it was pretty terrifying to come home to a bear in the kitchen," Strauja tells KABC-TV.

Strauja got a depredation permit from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and a friend shot the animal after it tried to enter her home for the third day in a row. "I understand that people are upset," department spokesman Andrew Hughan says. "The fact is this bear was inside the residence and had been inside the house several times." But some residents say Strauja should have used other means. "Go to a neighbor. Get in a car. They don't hurt you as long as you leave them alone," Pennie Justin says. "My son walks home at two o'clock in morning. No problem." Strauja says she tried taking her trash indoors after the bear broke into the garage and using mace to chase it off. Hughan said some people in the community may have illegally fed wild animals, which can cause them to lose their fear of humans. "At the end of the day this is not a bear problem, it's a people problem," he says. (More California stories.)

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