Mother bear euthanized, cubs sent to rehab facility after close encounters in Bartlett, N.H.

A black bear. (Terry Spivey via Wikimedia Commons)

A black bear. (Terry Spivey via Wikimedia Commons)

New Hampshire Public Radio

Published: 06-13-2024 4:31 PM

New Hampshire Fish and Game has euthanized a mother bear, after officials say she wreaked havoc in a Bartlett, N.H., neighborhood over the weekend.

The bear reportedly entered a house twice in two days and bluff charged a man taking out his trash. Under the state's bear conflict protocol, Fish and Game officials say she was trapped and euthanized, while two cubs found with her were taken to the Kilham Bear Center in Lyme.

Fish and Game biologist Dan Bailey, leader of the agency’s bear project, said it's fairly uncommon for bears to enter homes. But this time of year is tough on bears: Berry crops aren’t available yet, so they’re feeding on green vegetation and insects — and if those aren’t available, they start looking elsewhere.

“You know, bears are smart,” Bailey said. “If they find an easy food source that they can get into in a residential area, they're going to continue to return and look for more food.”

But Bailey said there’s a lesson to be learned from this bear encounter: Don’t feed bears, and don’t let them get comfortable in your backyard. He said people can deter bears from hanging out in their yards by not keeping bird feeders, locking up trash, and protecting chickens or other animals with an electric fence.

“So the more that we can make bears feel uncomfortable being around homes, the less of a chance that something like this is going to happen again in the future,” he said.

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