Bear that nuzzled hiker is fatally shot by state officials

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut wildlife officials have shot and killed a young bear that closely followed and touched a hiker and became the center of a debate over the state's wildlife management practices.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said Wednesday the bear was killed at Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area, where it encountered a woman out for a walk last Friday and nuzzled her leg. The bear had been tagged following previous encounters with officials.

Wildlife officials say the male bear showed aggressive behavior. Animal protection advocates lobbied against the killing, saying the bear was curious and nonthreatening.

Officials on Tuesday fatally shot another bear they say was reported in the area where the encounter took place. Wildlife officials say that bear charged two agency staff members.

The trails at the wildlife area have been closed.

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