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Connecticut police officer on vacation after killing beloved black bear Bobbi

An off-duty police officer from Ridgefield, Connecticut, was placed on administrative leave this week after he allegedly shot and killed a beloved black bear in Newton last week, reports said.

The mama bear, known to locals as Bobbi, left two cubs after she was shot dead on private property on May 12.

“We are aware that one of our officers was involved in an off-duty incident involving the shooting of a bear in Newtown,” Ridgefield Police Chief Jeff Kreitz told The Ridgefield Press on Tuesday.

“The incident is currently under investigation by the Department of Energy and Environment (DEEP) and we are awaiting the results. In addition, it is a personnel matter that is being investigated internally,” Kreitz added.

It was unclear if Bobbi, identified by her ear tags and a following on social media, was shot and killed at the unnamed officer’s property. Ridgefield is located about 20 miles from Newtown in southwest Connecticut.

“Once we complete our investigation, we’ll get that out,” Col. Chris Lewis, the commanding officer of DEEP’s Environmental Conservation Police Force, told the newspaper.

An orphaned cub hides in a tree.
Bobbi’s orphaned cubs were captured by game wardens and taken to a rehabilitation center.
DEEP/Facebook

Meanwhile, the bear’s orphaned cubs were captured by wildlife officials on Monday and taken to a rehabilitation center, officials said.

The cubs would be “settling in” at their new home at Kilham Bear Center in New Hampshire, DEEP officials wrote on Facebook on Tuesday, posting a picture of one of the orphans perched in a tree.

“We saw a lot of posts encouraging people to try feeding the young and do other things that were well intentioned but would have put them in a difficult position,” says Jenny Dickson, director of the Wildlife Division Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said the paper.

Bobbi looks into the camera.
Bobbi had identifying ear tags and a large following on social media.
Save Bobbi’s Cubs/Facebook

When bears have access to human food, they “get used to it” and lose their fear of humans, she reportedly explained.

“It’s going to be very, very dangerous for them, it’s also dangerous for the public,” Dickson said.

It is illegal to kill bears in Connecticut except in cases of self-defense, and bear attacks in the state are rare.

With AP wires

https://nypost.com/2022/05/19/connecticut-cop-on-leave-after-killing-beloved-black-bear-bobbi/ Connecticut police officer on vacation after killing beloved black bear Bobbi

JACLYN DIAZ

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