Officers Forced to Shoot Bear in Benton City Orchard
BENTON CITY, Wash. - Workers at a local winery encountered a surprise visitor in one of their orchards Tuesday morning, but this was not the kind of guest one would want to stick around.
"I was putting on my boots this morning and one of my employees called up and said, hey I just seen a bear run in the orchard. I turned to my wife and I said, I gotta go, there's somebody drunk in our orchard so no I didn't believe him at first," said vineyard manager, Robert Rivera.
The next step for Robert Rivera was calling local authorities including the Fish and Wildlife Department.
"I'm not sure what brought him up to this area it's pretty unusual," said Kerry McLerran with the Fish and Wildlife Department.
McLerran says it is not every day a bear is spotted in the Tri-City area. But this bear would not leave and was becoming a public safety issue.
"Trying to put it asleep or darting it wasn't really an option," McLerran said.
At one point the bear stood up and looked as if it was about to run at the officers. That is when they opened fire and with one shot, killed the bear
The officers say the shot was clean and they did not want the animal to suffer. As for Rivera, he hopes this is a one time deal.
"Deer, we've seen some deer. We see coyotes all the time, but never a black bear no," he said.
It is strange that a bear even made it into the orchard, located right along the interstate Other than crossing the busy road, the bear would have had to come down off the hill or cross through neighborhoods and a developed area.