On June 3, 2013, officers employed by the Seaside Police Department (SSPD) were called to a situation involving an adolescent black bear in a residential area of Laguna Grande Park. The bear was then chased by police for over a mile into Seaside where it was shot and killed by SSPD officers. For this kind of action to be taken against a fleeing animal that is offering no threat and is no greater in size than a large dog is absurd. While it is true that officers alerted the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), by the time that a representative arrived to the scene the SSPD officers had already shot and killed the animal. According to Capt. Don Kelly of the CDFW, there are non-lethal methods that would have been employed to "haze" the bear back into the wilderness had it not been killed. Black bears in the area already suffer endangerment from loss of resources and habitat and are "lured" into residential areas by the smell of food being carried on the wind. This "luring" of animals is a commonplace occurrence in neighboring counties and is addressed in a much more humane manner (e.g. Santa Cruz County -http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Mountion-Lion-Trapped-in-Downtown-Santa-Cruz-Aqueduct-207743001.html). Based off of the events of June 3, 2013, it is clear that the officers of the SSPD need a form of regulation that will prohibit them from acting out with violence in situations involving wild animals prior to having a CDFW representative assess the situation and present a clear, permissive statement authorizing police officers to use lethal force. For more information on this incident, visit: http://www.montereycountyweekly.com/blogs/animal_blog/article_d6155f58-cc6f-11e2-944d-0019bb30f31a.html
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