EAST BROOKFIELD, Mass. (NECN) - Police are warning people in Massachusetts not to shoot bears after a man, who was trying to protect his pets, shot one on his property.
A 250-pound black bear made its way onto Jake Victor's East Brookfield farm on Tuesday.
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"We realized it wasn't afraid of us and it wasn't moving. That's when I shot it," said Victor.
Victor said the bear walked right over to a small fenced-in area where he is keeping 8-week-old yellow lab puppies. Fearing the bear would attack him or the puppies; Victor grabbed his rifle and shot the bear.
"Just protecting my livestock, my family," said Victor.
They called police and the game warden, who removed the bear from the home. State environmental police said Victor has not been charged or cited for killing the bear.
"They told me they don't like killing animals and they'd shoot it with a beanbag gun, but to me that's just going to scare it again, run off into the woods and it would be back," said Victor.
East Brookfield police posted a warning on its Facebook page with a picture of the dead bear. It read "This bear was shot by a nervous resident today. Don't shoot a bear if it comes into your yard, call the police. We have means to get them moving that are not lethal!"
The post spawned backlash online. People accused Victor of shooting the bear for fun or to show off, which he says is far from the truth.
"I don't like shooting the animal. I feel bad about it, but I had to do what I had to do," said Victor.
Victor said he has never seen bears before and if it wasn't so close he would have just grabbed his camera instead of his gun.
"If it was just walking through the yard I'd take a picture of it, but if I see it chasing my cows...trying to attack my cows, my puppies or my pigs, I'd have to shoot it," said Victor.
Officials said the animal was a full-grown adult male bear.