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PHOTOS: Second black bear shot in Iowa
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PHOTOS: Second black bear shot in Iowa

8:55 AM

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DES MOINES -- A second black bear has been shot in Iowa this year, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday.

The latest was shot by DNR conservation officer Marlowe Wilson last Thursday in Fremont County.

The bear, which weighed more than 200 pounds, had raided garbage cans and acted aggressively after attempts to scare it away near its home by Waubonsie State Park, according to the DNR.

"This is not a decision I made hastily, and I really didn't want to shoot him," Wilson said in a statement released by the department.

Missouri officials had been monitoring a bear in the northwest corner of the state which is believed to be the one shot in Fremont County.

Another black bear was shot three days earlier, on June 23 near Sheffield in Franklin County. Iowans are allowed to shoot the black bears, which are not a protected species in Iowa.

Five bear sightings have been confirmed in Iowa this year, with the others occurring in Winneshiek, Johnson and Davis counties.

Before that, the last confirmed sighting was in 2005 in Allamakee County.

The animals were once native to Iowa, but have not populated the state since the 1800s.

DNR officials discourage Iowans from intentionally killing bears if they are not a problem. They advise people to contact the DNR if a bear flees when it is approached.

Kevin Baskins, a spokesman for the DNR, said they are looking into the possibility of tranquilizing bears that are dangerous and relocating them instead of shooting them.

Charlotte Eby can be reached at (515) 243-0138 or chareby@aol.com.

Photo gallery

Click here to see photos of the bear that was shot.

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