Newton, CT. – An off-duty Ridgefield, Connecticut, police officer was placed on administrative leave this week after allegedly shooting to death a beloved black bear in Newton last week, reports said.
The mama bear, known to locals as Bobbi, left behind two cubs after being shot and killed on private property on May 12.
The identity of the police officer has not been revealed.
“We are aware that one of our officers was involved in an off-duty incident in which a bear was shot and killed in Newtown,” Ridgefield Police Chief Jeff Kreitz told The Ridgefield Press Tuesday.
“The incident is under investigation by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and we are awaiting the results. Additionally, this is a personnel matter which is under investigation internally,” Kreitz added.
The New York Post reported that it was unclear if Bobbi, identified by her ear tags and a social media following, was shot on the unnamed officer’s property. Ridgefield is about 20 miles from Newtown in southwestern Connecticut.
The bear’s orphaned cubs were captured by wildlife officials on Monday and were taken to a rehabilitation center, officials said.
It is illegal to kill bears in Connecticut except in cases of self-defense, and bear attacks in the state are rare.