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"Bear woman" won't go to jail for misdemeanor

A California woman who plead guilty to feeding big game in court on Monday will not be sentenced until August 8, 2014, allowing her three years to change her behavior, the Associated Press reports.

Lynne Gravier was charged with the misdemeanor after authorities raided her property last summer found that she had set up a type of "bear spa," the news source reports. She had a kiddie pool for bears and regularly put out animal food - cornmeal and peanut butter sandwiches, often laced with glucosamine for joint health - for bears who wandered onto her property in Laytonville.

Responding to neighbor complaints, officials came to Gravier's home and found a total of 15 black bears that lounged on her porch and in her house on a regular basis. She also cared for 18 cats, three dogs, 40 peacocks and other wildlife.

"This lady may have thought she was doing a good thing," Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster told the San Francisco Chronicle. "But we have to ... get her to recognize that her feeding bears ... is dangerous."

While most bears are shy and avoid humans, feeding them can cause them to lose their fear of humans and become "nuisance bears," the Humane Society of the United States reports. Many states regularly trap and kill these bears, fearing that they may become a public danger.
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