NC homeowner fined for killing black bear in his yard - FOX Carolina 21

NC homeowner fined for killing black bear in his yard

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SYLVA, NC (FOX Carolina) -

What would you do if a bear walked in your yard?

With a rash of black bear sightings in the Upstate and Western North Carolina, chances are it may happen for a lot of homeowners.

Wildlife experts said one thing you can not do unless in an emergency situation is shoot and kill a bear.

A Sylva, NC, resident learned that the hard way.

On Saturday, Mike Hyatt, an officer with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, said John Caplinger shot and killed a bear he says caused some damage on his property.

Hyatt said that is not allowed, Caplinger was charged with killing a bear that did not pose any immediate threat, now is likely to face more than $4 thousand in fines and have his gun destroyed.

In both North and South Carolina, black bears are a protected species, as opposed to other animals such as wild hogs and coyotes.

Instead of grabbing for your gun when a bear is in your yard, Corporal John Anders with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said just get rid of any food sources, such as bird feeders, pet food or trash, from around your house.

Anders said the bear will likely move on to find food somewhere else.

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