A buddy sent me a picture message of a bear taken in Pocono Pa. and it seemed like "one of those" pics in which you cannot believe what you see so I dug into the topic a little bit and here is what I found.
Pic sent to me
I found these Beloved "Bozo" the Black Bear Shot Dead, Town Mourns Largest black bear killed in the state was fed by a Poconos man for 17 years By TERESA MASTERSON Updated 4:06 PM EST, Mon, Nov 22, 2010
Seventy-one-year-old Leroy Lewis had a unique friend: an almost 900-pound black bear he had been feeding by hand for 17 years. He named the bear Bozo.
On the first day of Pennsylvania
’s new archery season, a hunter shot Bozo dead in the animal'sPoconos
habitat. The Nov. 15 bear kill should have been a great trophy for hunter David Price
, as Bozo is now the largest black bear ever taken down in state history.
But for Lewis and many residents of the Bushkill community, the death of the beloved Bozo was a tragedy, reports the Pocono Record
"I'm devastated. I'm just devastated," Lewis told the Pocono Record Friday
. "I mean I feel like I lost a friend. He used to come knock on the door when he was hungry."
The 879-pound bear is the heaviest on record in Pennsylvania by 15 pounds. Bozo surely got to be that size because of the store-bought pies, doughnuts, table-scraps and sweets Lewis
would feed him.
"I fed him for 17 years and I raised him from a cub," Lewis, who worked for years as the Fernwood Resort groundkeeper, told the Pocono Record
. "He loved doughnuts and anything sweet. I was never scared of him."
After the community-wide outpouring of grief became known to Price, the hunter who bagged Bozo told the Pocono Record that the whole affair has been upsetting. Price had no idea that the 17-year-old bear was a regular friend to the Fernwood Resort and surrounding residents.
Price told the Record that an event that should have been the pinnacle of his hunting career has been tainted.
Game commission officials say the bear was harvested legally. They also stated that Lewis was doing wrong by feeding the bear.
"He was just so friendly that I felt like feeding him," Lewis told the Record
. "I never felt like I did anything wrong."
For exclusive photos of Bozo and Lewis, go to The Stroudsburg Pocono Record
. Copyright Associated Press / NBC Philadelphia First Published: Nov 22, 2010 3:39 PM EST Bushkill man 'devastated' by death of bear he'd fed for years Photo 1 of 2 | Zoom Photo +
Leroy Lewis spends some quality time near his home with the bear he named Bozo. This photo was taken two or three years ago. The bear was killed Monday on the first day of archery season, by which time it had grown to 875 pounds, the largest recorded bear in Pennsylvania.contributed photo
By DAVID KIDWELL
Pocono Record Visual Editor
November 20, 2010
Leroy Lewis stood in the doorway of his tiny mobile home in Bushkill on Monday evening and wept as a Pennsylvania Game Commission officer told him his beloved bear, Bozo, had been shot by a hunter.
Seventeen years of memories filled Lewis' mind as he digested the news that Bozo was dead. In those years, Lewis watched this wild animal-turned-pet grow as he hand-fed it table scraps and store-bought pies and other sweets.
When Bozo was shot by a hunter Monday, he weighed nearly 900 pounds. That made Bozo the largest black bear ever killed in Pennsylvania.
A trophy for David Price, the hunter, the kill was a heartbreak for Lewis.
"I'm devastated. I'm just devastated," he said Friday. "I mean I feel like I lost a friend. He used to come knock on the door when he was hungry."
Price shot the bear with a crossbow on the opening day of Pennsylvania's new archery season for bear hunting. The game commission says Price followed the law when he bagged the giant bear.
Price killed the bear near Lewis' trailer, which sits between Fernwood Resort and the border of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Lewis said he started feeding the bear when it was maybe 2 years old.
"He was just so friendly that I felt like feeding him," he said. "I never felt like I did anything wrong."
The game commission, in fact, thought Lewis was doing wrong by feeding the bear. It cited him in October for feeding wildlife.
On Friday, Lewis flipped through stacks of photos, some featuring him posing with the bear and even draped over the bear.
"I fed him for 17 years and I raised him from a cub," Lewis recalled. "He loved doughnuts and anything sweet. I was never scared of him."