A black bear spotted in Bakersfield in early May was shot and killed in the Visalia area Wednesday after California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials became concerned that the animal posed a threat to their staff and the public.

The 150-pound male bear was shot after Fish and Wildlife staff first used traps and conducted aerial and ground searches to find the animal, spokeswoman Janice Mackey said in an e-mail. Search hounds located the animal near St. John's River.

The intention was to tree the bear, dart it and relocate it, Mackey said. Non-lethal means were tried, but the bear acted aggressively and was shot.

"The safety of the public and staff are always our foremost priority," Mackey said.

The bear had been in an agricultural area for more than five days near a well-traveled road. Mackey confirmed it was the same bear found in the City in the Hills neighborhood in northeast Bakersfield.

Fish and Wildlife officials captured the animal and transported it to an undisclosed area about 100 miles away.

- The Californian