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Off-duty cop won’t be charged for fatally shooting bear

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut police officer will not be charged for fatally shooting a female black bear outside his Newtown home while off duty in May.

The state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) said in a news release issued Friday that it did not find sufficient evidence to bring charges against the man, who was suspended from the police department in nearby Ridgefield after the May 12 shooting, but has since been reinstated.

“The investigation determined that the homeowner had numerous encounters with the same bear over multiple days that caused him to fear for the safety of his family, for himself, and for his livestock,” the DEEP said.

DEEP officials said they determined the bear had lost its fear of people and learned to associate humans with sources of food.

The bear, known as Bobbi to local residents, was captured, tagged and relocated on two separate occasions in 2017. In subsequent years, it had more than 175 documented human interactions, most occurring in the Southbury, Redding and Newtown areas, according to the DEEP.

The shooting orphaned two cubs, who were captured a week after the shooting and sent to a wildlife rehabilitation facility in New Hampshire.

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