Governor Andrew Cuomo proclaimed yesterday the fourth annual Animal Advocacy Day in the State of New York, but the only thing officials in Albany did was kill — sorry, “euthanize” — a black bear cub. The Albany Bear, as it's been uncreatively dubbed (better to not get attached), apparently violated the Department of Environmental Conservation’s three-strikes rule, having been tagged twice previously in Pennsylvania. So it had to die.
And the little dude went down hard.
According to the DEC timeline of events, the 175-pound baby bear was first “hit by a car twice.” Because it was deemed dangerous, officers were then given the ‘shoot to kill’ order, but failed, wounding it with a shotgun and sending the bear up a tree.
Children armed with signs and “Save the bear” chants were ignored. Cuomo challenger Rob Astorino tried to make it political (“I think the bear is just running from high taxes like everyone else”). And Assemblyman Jim Tedisco insisted, “God doesn't make junk. All animals are important — this bear included.” None of it mattered.
Two tranquilizer darts later, the Albany Bear fell. “You could hear it coming down and the tree branches snapping,” said a witness. “He was tired of holding on.” But the bear survived that, too. At the wildlife center later, humans finished the job for what they called “humane and nuisance reasons.”
The Albany Bear was too good for Albany.