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Neighbors react to bear being shot in South Lake Tahoe: "There was no reason to shoot that bear"

Neighbors react to homeowner shooting bear in South Lake Tahoe
Neighbors react to homeowner shooting bear in South Lake Tahoe 02:05

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE – A man who witnessed a homeowner shoot and kill a young bear in South Lake Tahoe on Memorial Day said the homeowner did not have a reason to shoot the bear. 

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) told CBS News Sacramento a door to the home was left open and the bear came inside, causing the homeowner to shoot it twice.

CDFW said the homeowner shot it again after it ran outside, ran up a tree and fell down.

Bogdan Yamkovenko lives in South Lake Tahoe and said he saw the whole thing happen and it isn't exactly what was told to CDFW. 

"He could've done a lot of different things. There was no reason to shoot that bear," Yamkovenko said. 

He said he heard the first shot after the bear was already out of the home. He also said the bear was never fully in the house to begin with. 

"I saw him run up the same tree, he made it about 30 feet and fell off. And it was clear he was injured already," Yamkovenko said. 

He said he asked the homeowner what he was doing and asked him not to shoot the bear. 

That's when he said he heard the second shot. 

He and his wife were trying to call CDFW to try and save the bear, and he said that's when it was shot a third time. 

"He said, 'I have to put him out of his misery,'" Yamkovenko said. 

This leaves neighbors questioning if it was really self-defense. 

"There was no first shot in the house, also the bear was never completely in the house," Yamkovenko said. 

Ann Bryant with the BEAR League said she is disappointed in the decision from CDFW that the homeowner acted in self-defense. 

"The neighbors have no reason to make up a story like this. They live by this guy. They're neighbors, they know each other, they get along. So why would they make up a horrific story?" Bryant said. 

CDFW said law enforcement conducted an investigation and reiterated that the homeowner acted in self-defense. No charges will be filed.

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