While searching for the bear in the video, wildlife staff encountered another aggressive bear, which was also killed. The plan to euthanize the bears was protested, and Rivkin was criticized on social media. “They’ve called me every name in the book,” she told the Courant.
Letting a bear approach isn’t a good idea, said Melissa Cummings, spokesperson for the Wildlife Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. “There is no photograph that is worth not only the potential harm you could bring to yourself, but you are further encouraging this animal to come closer to other people.”
Black bears are naturally timid, and are easy to scare off, she said. The proper response is to make noise, and move away as quickly as possible. “The more noise you make the better.”
A bear that has become habituated to humans becomes a danger to people and a danger to itself, Cummings said. “The last thing we want to do is relocate or euthanize a bear.”
There are about 5,100 black bears in Georgia, and there has never been a bear attack on a human in the state, according to the Wildlife Resources Division fact sheet, which offers suggestions about avoiding bear encounters.