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DA to Investigate Shooting of Bear

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EL DORADO COUNTY --

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is filing a formal complaint with the El Dorado County District Attorney's office against a citizen who shot a bear in South Lake Tahoe on Thursday.

According to a Fish and Wildlife spokesperson, the bear had recently been breaking into homes and garages in a neighborhood off Pioneer Trail.

But shooting the bear was the wrong way to handle the problem in the eyes of state investigators and area wildlife advocates.

The bear carcass was found on its back under a tree in the woods outside the neighborhood.

"If you have a problem bear around your property, call us," said Toogee Sielsch, a volunteer and educator with the Bear League. "We'll come out and deal with it."

The Bear League teaches people how to live in harmony with bears through a variety of techniques to safely discourage bears from coming near homes.

A spokesman for Fish and Wildlife said the person who shot the bear had been taking precautions to prevent attracting bears.

Sielsch was one of the first people at the scene of the shooting after it was reported by neighbors to the Bear League.

"I honestly hope (the DA's office) presses charges because there's absolutely no reason to shoot a bear that's moving away from you," Sielsch said. "This bear was shot in the back."

As of Monday night, the name of the shooting suspect had not been released.