When East Brookfield resident Jacob Victor discovered a black bear on his farm, his first instinct was to protect the litter of 8-week-old Labrador puppies he had been raising. According to WHDH, the 250-pound bear was found near the fenced area where Victor had kept the dogs. Livestock were also present nearby. When the bear continued to stay on his property, Victor retrieved his rifle and killed the animal.
“We realized it wasn’t afraid of us and it wasn’t moving,” Victor said. “…[I was] just protecting my livestock, my family.”
Victor then informed the authorities of the incident, who removed the carcass. Although officers and game wardens deemed the shooting to be justified, the East Brookfield Police Department warned citizens not to shoot bears on sight, but rather call police so the bear can be removed with nonlethal methods. When the Police Department posted the story to their Facebook page a large amount of people chimed in with their reactions, often criticizing Victor. Victor responded that “the bear was a threat” and that he shot the animal because it was going for the dog food located inside the puppy pen. Due to the high amount of debate on the page, the East Brookfield Police Department decided to close its Facebook page temporarily.
Reportedly, it was the first time Victor had seen a black bear and he told WHDH he would have went for his camera instead of a rifle if the animal was not so close.
Image courtesy East Brookfield Police Department