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Officials Discover Cause Of Death For 4 Bears Found Near Church.

After receiving reports of a bear cub in the vicinity, the West Wyoming Borough Police Department was summoned to St. Monica’s Parish in Pennsylvania in the early morning hours. When they came, rather than discovering one cub, they discovered three, together with their mom, near the edge of a church parking lot. Unfortunately, all four bears died.

The Pennsylvania State Game Commission was promptly alerted and reacted. Although there were no indications of bullet wounds or external trauma, the death of the nearly 300-pound mama bear and her three cubs was suspicious, and the West Wyoming Borough Police Department issued a public call for help on their Facebook page, asking anybody with information about the incident to contact them.

The adult female and one youngster were brought to the Penn State Animal Diagnostic Laboratory in State College for post-mortem examination and toxicological testing, while the other two cubs were kept at the region office.

They believe these bears’ deaths are very suspicious, Game Commission Northeast Area Law Enforcement Supervisor Mark Rutkowski said. Toxicological tests will be undertaken to determine the cause of death, he said.

Toxicological tests would provide information on the cause of death. The Pennsylvania Game Commission disclosed on Facebook, weeks after they were discovered, that poisoning was the most probable reason for the four bears’ deaths. Nonetheless, officials put out an alert in response to this information.

The PA Game Commission said that all of the bears were found dead in or near the same tree. There were no signs of thrashing or stumbling in the area around the bears, which means they died quickly and were killed by a common shrub.

The leaves and seeds of an English yew, or Taxus baccata, shrub were found in the stomachs of both bears that were brought to Penn University for testing. The most probable cause of mortality is consumption of plant pieces from this widespread ornamental shrub.

The English yew is a type of evergreen tree that grows only in Europe, Africa, and southwest Asia. The plant has lance-shaped leaves and produces a red berry-like cupped structure called an ‘aril’ that holds a solitary brown seed, the Pennsylvania Game Commission noted in a Facebook post that included a picture, which is seen below. It is often grown as an attractive shrub in the eastern part of North America, and it is often seen in cities.

COMMON SHRUB PLAYED ROLE IN BEAR DEATHS Plant toxin poisoning indicated in death of sow and three cubs The ingestion of…

Posted by Pennsylvania Game Commission on Thursday, 22 December 2016

All yew species contain the alkaloid chemical ‘taxine,’ which is very poisonous to most animals and humans if consumed. The poison is especially harmful to animals with single-chambered stomachs, the Game Commission warned.

The committee warned that taxine was found in all parts of the yew except for the fleshy part of the aril. Although yew is harmful all year, toxin levels rise during the winter months. Yew is cardiotoxic, impairing the heart’s capacity to beat normally.

Organic chemical screenings were done on the stomach contents, liver, and kidneys of the bears to test for the presence of pesticides, euthanasia agents, and environmental toxins, the Commission said, showing that the cause of death was undoubtedly this common plant. These screenings, as well as a test for the presence of ethylene glycol (a chemical present in antifreeze), all yielded negative findings.

Therefore, in the end, these four bears perished unnecessarily because a plant native to Europe, Africa, and southwest Asia was introduced to North America as an “ornament shrub” to beautify urban settings. That being said, know what you’re planting. Anything designed to appear pleasant might be lethal. Moreover, if a 300-pound bear can be killed by hazardous plant poisoning, consider what it can do to a household pet or an inquisitive kid.

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