ASHEVILLE - N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission officers are investigating a West Asheville man who shot and killed a black bear in his yard Monday, an incident that sparked outrage in the community.
The shooting happened at about 4 p.m. at the corner of Tanglewood Drive and Dunwell Avenue, wildlife officer Shawn Martin said.
The man was working in his driveway with his daughter when a neighbor called to him that a bear was headed their way. The father and daughter retreated into their home.
"He went in and got a gun and came back out and shot the bear," Martin said.
The bear was a female, probably about a year and a half old, weighing 150 to 175 pounds, he said. The man shot the bear with a 30-30 hunting rifle.
The fatally wounded animal rolled down a hill onto a neighbor's driveway.
Neighbor Evan Turnau heard the gunshot and went to see what happened. He videoed the aftermath of the shooting with his smart phone, upset the bear was killed and that a gun was fired in the neighborhood.
"We are in the city limits, and we don't want anyone to get hurt, shooting guns," Turnau said. "This is an analogy of our society getting along with different cultures. We not only have to get along with each other, we have to get along with the environment. The bears were here before us."
The man who shot the bear could not be reached for comment. The Citizen-Times is not naming him because he has not been charged.
The incident was the talk of West Asheville today, lighting up social media sites. Some said the bear had been in the area for some time and that residents had named it.
"West Asheville is mourning the loss of our beloved Audrey," one writer posted on a West Asheville Facebook page. "RIP Audrey, you will be missed. We enjoyed your visits to our gardens, bird feeders and yards. Audrey had become the unofficial mascot of the westside. Goodbye sweet Audrey. We loved you."
Another writer noted she was "disgusted that someone took such a violent stance without provocation," and urged residents to contact District Attorney Ron Moore and demand prosecution of the shooter.