Investigators finally understand why an entire family of bears died in a parking lot

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On Dec. 6 of this year, the West Wyoming Borough Police Department received a very strange case.

An entire family of bears appeared to have died in the parking lot of St. Monica's church in West Wyoming, Pennsylvania. The bears showed no obvious signs of trauma or thrashing, and it would be weeks before investigators could finally determine the cause of their deaths.

The case was so mysterious that the West Wyoming Police Department as well as the Pennsylvania Game Commission asked the public for their thoughts on how the bears might have died.

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"The highly unusual circumstances prompted the Game Commission to consider the deaths suspicious and requested that persons with any information regarding the incident to contact the agency," the Game Commission wrote on Facebook.

After conducting post-mortem examinations and completing a toxicology report, investigators were able to determine that the bears had eaten the English Yew plant, a poisonous ornamental shrub. Yew plants contain taxine, toxic to most animals if consumed.

Parts of the yew plant were discovered in each of the bear's stomachs.

"While yew are toxic year-round, toxin levels increase during the winter months. Yew is cardiotoxic and impacts the heart's ability to beat properly," The Game Commission wrote on Facebook.

Weird sad case, closed.

[H/T Buzzfeed]

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