In the battle of man vs. beast, this time the beast lost. A wild black bear that has captured Western New York's attention on a journey around the region this summer has been "euthanized."
Amherst Police report the bear had been wandering the town for the past two weeks and was spotted once again Monday on a residential lawn in the area of Renaissance Drive and Convent Garden Lane.
Police say the bear "appeared unable to continue its normal travel habits due to the injured leg" it suffered when struck by a vehicle, and that it was "observed traveling in and out of several yards in the densely populated neighborhood."
Officers on the scene made the determination to euthanize the bear because it "was a danger to the public."
Just Sunday, an online petition had been started to save the bear.
In an online post, petition founder Austin Lange said it had not attacked or injured anyone on its journey through Western New York this summer. The petition criticized authorities for only trying to shoo away the bear from homes and, instead, asked them to provide medical care to its injured leg and then relocate it.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation says on its website, "though rarely seen by most New Yorkers, increasingly, bears can be found in semi-rural environments, agricultural areas, and occasionally in urban centers." The DEC estimates some 6,000-8,000 across the state, including 10-15 percent inhabiting the Southern Tier across central and western New York.
However, the DEC also urges New Yorkers to "please help maintain and protect the bear," saying "simple sanitation measures can be the key to avoid attracting bears."