Massachusetts Environmental Police are facing a storm of criticism over their fatal shooting of a black bear in West Newton on Sunday, but the agency is defending its decision.
Asked about the shooting at a State House media availability this afternoon, Governor Deval Patrick said, “I don’t know all the details about it.”
The bear made his way up a tree early Sunday in Newton near the Massachusetts Turnpike. The bear had been shot dead by about 7:30 a.m. A spokeswoman for the Environmental Police said Sunday that “tranquilizing was too difficult to accomplish."
She said the decision to kill the bear, a male that weighed between 100 and 125 pounds, was “because of the proximity to the MBTA lines, Mass. Pike, and the urban environment and population.”