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Published on Saturday December 17, 2011 - 11:02 PM
 
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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — In a showdown between Willamette Valley values and coastal Oregon practicality, a Florence man faces animal abuse charges for fatally shooting a bear with a pellet gun.

The young black bear had wandered into the backyard of 29-year-old Florence resident Blake Christensen, who grew up in the coastal town of Tillamook. He says it's natural on the coast to shoot bears if they're on a person's property.

The bear died about 20 minutes after being shot, the Eugene Register-Guard reports (http://bit.ly/vaOiOe ).

State wildlife law permits killing a wild animal that is causing damage or is a public nuisance.

A state trooper decided not to press charges, but Florence city prosecutor Floyd Prozanski charged Christensen with first-degree animal abuse

Christensen hired an attorney and says he will fight the charge.