Euthanization of starving Valdez bear cub sets off Facebook storm

The euthanization of a starving black bear cub (video)  in Valdez last weekend would have passed without much notice had the pathetic cub's photo not been posted on Facebook. Now animal control officer Mike Lindquist and the Valdez animal shelter are the targets of vitriol delivered from far and wide by Facebook users who believed the cub could have been helped. As the Valdez Star points out, that probably wasn't the case.

Unfortunately for the bear cub, current state policy dictates that all black bears that are injured, sick or determined to be a public threat – such as bears that are habituated to eating garbage – are to be dispatched.

The cub in question was emaciated and did not respond to eat or drink water it was provided according to [city clerk Sheri] Pierce. It is also unknown where its mother was, why the cub was not hibernating in a den, or how long it had been out on its own in the dead of winter.

“It’s absolutely a bad deal,” [police chief Bill] Comer said of the cub’s demise.

Valdez has had plenty of trouble with orphaned bear cubs recently. Robert Stumpf, the man whose home the cub turned up at -- and who posted the bear's photo on Facebook along with a friend's plea to help find it a home -- said the cub was obviously near death. It seemed unable even to eat dog food on his porch.

Read more at the Valdez Star: Hate mail aimed at animal control officer