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Bear cub slaying angers Forest Falls residents

August 16, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Residents of a community in the San Bernardino County wilderness are expressing their discontent over the shooting of a bear by a neighbor.

The shooting Sunday is the second time a bear has been killed by gunfire in the area in four months.

Residents of the Forest Falls community just south of Big Bear say it was about 9 p.m. Sunday when they heard gunshots.

"Two fast ones and then I heard the most awful sound of the bear groaning in agony," neighbor Lindsey Foggett said.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department says there were two calls from the homeowner the night before reporting problems with a bear. Deputies say a third call came Monday about the homeowner apparently shooting and killing the black cub. It's not yet clear if the shooter will face charges.

Longtime residents say bear sightings are common in their area as the animals search for food.

"I assume he felt threatened and that's his way of taking care of the problem," said Kurt Klingbeil, another neighbor. "There are better ways of getting a bear away from you."

In April, neighbors say a man shot and killed another bear when he found it digging through trash in the back of his pickup truck.

Residents fear incidents like these will continue unless people change the way they live in the mountains.

"It keeps coming up in the news over and over again, encounters between wildlife and people, and more often than not, the wildlife is what suffers," said Klingbeil.

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