HAB: Resident who placed Trump sticker on bear comes forward, apologizes

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Although black bears do not have the right to vote in the upcoming presidential election, a Trump sticker was found on a black bear and the person who placed it has come forward.

The photos taken by an Asheville resident of the black bear wearing a tracking collar with a Trump sticker attached have been circulating on social media since Friday.

Help Asheville Bears (HAB) put out a call on Facebook asking Asheville residents with any information related to the person who planted the sticker to come forward.

On Tuesday morning Jody Williams, a member with HAB, told 7 News the person who placed the sticker on the collar came forward and apologized for endangering the bear.

“I spoke with the person and he guaranteed that no more stickers will be put on. It was basically done in protest, he loves the bears,” Williams said.

Williams said the person was able to plant the sticker on the bear due to it’s previous habitual interactions with humans making it less likely to feel threatened.

“It’s slightly habituated to be hand fed by humans. He was able to get that close to it. That’s unfortunate because that compromises the bear’s safety in many ways,” Williams said.

Experts warn residents not to feed bears and interact with them because this could put their lives in danger when they cross paths with other humans who may not have knowledge on how bears behave and communicate.

Williams said HAB is non-political and any sticker could threaten the safety of the bear by exposing its natural camouflage in the woods, which could result in death.

“We hate the tagging and collaring, we’ve always been against that,” Williams said, “We are non-political, the sticker was insult to injury. Our post would have been the same if it were a smiley face sticker.”

For more information on HAB, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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