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Durham Police Make Policy Changes After Bear Incident

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DURHAM — Police in the Bull City are making some policy changes after the shooting of a black bear last week.

Durham police

officers shot a 200 pound black bear on Omah Street last Thursday.

Police called Durham Animal Control to come and tranquilize the bear, but before the officer arrived, police felt it was necessary to shoot the bear.

The animal had been sighted in resident's backyards for several days.

An incident review Wednesdayincluded representatives of the Durham Police Department,Durham City/County 911, Durham County Animal Control, and the North Carolina Wildlife Commission.

Among the changes are a new 911 protocol to handle wildlife calls, police will set up a wider perimeter when dealing with wildlife, and animal control will train police on how to deal with wildlife.

An effort will also be made to provide residents with information about how to deal with bears and other forms of wildlife. Experts provided the following safety tips:

  • Keep garbage in sealed containers and move grillsinside so that the animals are not attracted by the scent of food.
  • Don't feed wildlife.
  • Don't leave pet food out all the time.
  • Leave the animal alone. Don't approach it or crowd it.
  • Rinse empty food containers and wrappers.
  • If you have bird feeders, bring them in at night or hangthem out of reach of bears (at least 10 feet off the ground).
  • If you spot a bear, pick up small children so they do notrun, scream or panic. Restrain dogs.
  • Leave the area or go inside the house and observe the bearfrom your window.
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