Forest Falls Woman Who Had Bear Killed Faces Social Media Backlash; Says She Was Protecting Kids

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A bear that kept returning to a home in Forest Falls was killed on July 31. Here, a black bear is seen cornered in a tree in Rancho Cucamonga on May 18, 2016. (Credit: Rancho Cucamonga Police Department)

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A mother of three young children is facing backlash from neighbors and social media vitriol for having a bear shot and killed last week after it repeatedly barged into her home in the San Bernardino Mountains.

But Julie Faith Strauja, 34, said she doesn’t regret having a friend shoot the bear on July 31 outside her Forest Falls cabin with permission from state wildlife officials.

“It was a decision I had to make for the safety and welfare of my children and my home,” Strauja told the Los Angeles Times on Sunday. “I tried to use non-lethal ways of dealing with him. But nothing was stopping him, and I just didn’t think there was any other option.”

Some residents of Forest Falls, about 75 miles east of Los Angeles, have criticized Strauja, and others have threatened her online. But state wildlife authorities, who issued her a permit to kill the animal, say she did nothing wrong.

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