May 31, 2016 7:12 AM

Officials: 'No indication' bear killed dog in Meredith area

MEREDITH — State officials say there is "no indication" that a bear killed a St. Bernard dog in the Lake Waukewan area, despite an e-mail sent to a homeowner's association in Meredith, Center Harbor, and New Hampton last week.

State Fish and Game wildlife biologist Andy Timmins told The Union-Leader that the so-called Waukewan bear did kill a rabbit and scare a llama, it did not kill a dog.

After doing some checking and speaking with the veterinarian who reportedly treated the St. Bernard, Timmins said that “the whole dog thing was a rumor built off a rumor built off a rumor. There’s no indication that a dog was killed.”

Timmins, leader of its Bear Project, said Meredith does have two distinct bear issues — a lone bear around the lake and a family in the vicinity of Routes 3 and 104 — neither has yet risen to an actionable level.

In recent weeks, Fish and Game killed four bears in Conway that had become too familiar to their human neighbors and Timmins noted the department killed two bears in the same area a year ago for the same reason.

On average, Fish and Game annually kills about 15 “nuisance” bears and relocates between five and 10. So far, 2016 has been an “above average” year for bear calls, said Timmins, who cautioned however, that the increase might appear bigger because 2015 was “the slowest in 20 years.”

Asked what might be different this year, Timmins said that spring came earlier, which meant the bears woke up earlier.

He said it's “extremely rare” that a bear would kill a dog.

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