msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 6/4/2010 10:27:15 AM ET 2010-06-04T14:27:15

Doughnuts were used to lure a young bear cub from a tree it had stayed in for nearly two days after its mother was killed, according to a local newspaper.

State Fish and Game Capt. Kevin Jordan said the female cub's mother had been hanging around the neighborhood because people were feeding it peanut butter sandwiches and other food, the New Hampshire Union Leader reported.

The mother bear had to be shot this week after it started raising havoc on a back porch, the newspaper said.

The cub took to the tree where it remained for almost 48 hours until it was enticed down. "We used doughnuts," Jordan told the Union Leader. "She was pretty hungry; she hadn't eaten for a few days."

Humans caused this problem
The 20-pound, six-month-old cub has been turned over to a bear rehabilitator who is training it to live in the wild on its own, the newspaper said.

"Humans caused this problem by feeding them because they think it's a novelty to have a bear in their neighborhood," Jordan added.

"And the bear doesn't know which house gives out food and which doesn't, so she'll hit every house looking for a handout," he told the paper. "I mean she just got out of hibernation, she's hungry and she's got little ones to think about feeding. She's going to go where it's easiest to get them food. It's a sad set of circumstances."

The 120-pound bear had been getting peanut butter sandwiches from neighbors of Dexter Wood Jr. and had eaten from bird feeders in the area, Jordan told the Union Leader. But Wood had not been feeding the bear and was a bit frightened by them, Jordan added.

Not finding any food at Wood's house, the bear started breaking things on the back porch. Jordan told the Union Leader that Wood tried to scare the bear away, but the animal did not leave and he felt he had no choice but to shoot.

"He feels just terrible about it from what I understand," Jordan told the paper. "I know there will be some people who will be angry at him for what he did, but he really didn't feel like he had any other options."

The cub was in the yard, and ran up the tree after the shooting, the newspaper said.

After eventually luring the cub with doughnuts, the rescuers took her to expert Benjamin Kilham in Lyme, who cares for orphaned bears so they can be released back into the wild. "She's actually quite large," Kilham told the Union Leader. "There can be effects from her losing her mother," he added. "(But) she's actually quite lively. I think she's going to be the boss of all of them."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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