Four bears died of chocolate overdoses in New Hampshire, the Concord Monitor reports.
The chocolate had been put out as bait by hunters and has prompted the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department to consider changing baiting regulations.
The four female bears — two adults and two cubs — were found dead in September in Northern New Hampshire, the newspaper reports.
Toxicology tests and necropsies determined that the healthy bears died of cardiac arrest caused by poisoning by theobromine, which is found in chocolate.
The case is among the first to establishing a link between chocolate and the death of bears, Andrew Timmins, said the state Fish and Game Department's bear project leader, according to the Concord Monitor.
Chocolate in large enough quantities is known to be toxic for dogs, cats and humans.