May 2, 2013 12:14 PM by MELISSA CANONE
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is investigating the killing of a calf by a black bear in West Carroll Parish. The incident occurred on private property near Epps between sunset Wednesday, April 24 and sunrise Thursday, April 25.
LDWF Wildlife Division staff responded to the reported incident, performing a necropsy to determine the cause of the calf's death. LDWF staff have worked to remove the bear by trapping and to monitor the site in the event the bear returns to feed on the calf carcass. The bear has not yet been trapped, nor has it returned to the site.
This is the first confirmed incident of a bear killing livestock since the department's black bear program was created to restore the threatened species population in Louisiana. "It is unusual for black bears in Louisiana to exhibit predatory behavior. They are primarily opportunistic omnivores, feeding on fruits, nuts, grains, carrion and when available, garbage," said Maria Davidson, LDWF Large Carnivore Program Manager.
The Tensas River basin in the northeast corner of the state is one of three black bear population centers that also include the lower Atchafalaya Basin and Pointe Coupee Parish.
LDWF advises the public that black bear activity begins to increase as warm spring temperatures increase their movement as they search for food sources. Encounters with bears can be minimized by securing all garbage and pet and livestock feed. For more information on avoiding bear encounters and what to do if you encounter a bear go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/document/35221-bear-safety/new_general_bear.pdf .
Follow The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter @LDWF.