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Farmer Shoots, Kills Bear And Sparks Heated Facebook Debate

EAST BROOKFIELD (CBS) – A farmer will not face charges after he shot and killed a bear on his property in East Brookfield Tuesday.

But the incident is sparking a debate on the police department's Facebook page.

Jacob Victor called police to his farm after the shooting and they determined it was justified.  Authorities then took the bear away.

Around 5 p.m., police posted a photo of the dead bear on Facebook with this plea for residents to avoid such incidents in the future:

"This bear was shot by a nervous resident today. Don't shoot a bear if it comes into your yard, call the police. We have means to get them moving that are not lethal !

Dozens of comments then followed criticizing Victor's decision to shoot the 275-pound bear.

"Infuriating!!! Instead of pulling the trigger all they had to do was pick up a phone! I am soo angry about this...," wrote Jay N Nikki Collette.

Victor then jumped into the debate himself, explaining why he did it, saying he was protecting his puppies.

"(He) walked right through my yard towards the puppies I grabbed my gun and when he was not scared off from all the yelling that we made I shot the bear before he could kill my puppies. The bear was a threat. I cannot have an animal come and kill all my livestock without me doing something about it. Any person in the right mind would agree that I made the right choice," he wrote.

Victor also claimed calling the police wasn't an option.

"Yes the cop said he could have shot it with a bean bag gun which would simply leave a welt and scare the bear. The bear would later come back and kill my animals. I took the right actions in killing the bear. If that was your dog or child out there you would have done the same thing in my position. No I don't feel bad that I killed the bear.I don't care what all of you tree huggers say because I simply was protecting my farm and family."

By mid-day Wednesday, there were 375 comments on the police department's Facebook page.

Police Chief William Cournoyer told WBZ-TV Wednesday he put the photo on Facebook because his station had been getting complaints that they had shot the bear.

Cournoyer said his intention was to clear that issue up, but it inadvertently started a new controversy.

What do you think?

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