Bear Hunt to Protect Suburban New Yorkers

Growing bear population takes to eating garbage
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2010 8:44 AM CDT
Bear Hunt to Protect Suburban New Yorkers
In this Dec. 8, 2003 photograph, two large bears, taken in the the first black-bear hunt in the state in 33 years, are brought into a New Jersey state Dept. of Fish and Wildlife checking station.   (DANIEL HULSHIZER)

Suburban New Yorkers have been bumping into New Jersey residents a lot scarier than the cast of Jersey Shore: black bears. The animal's growing population has lead the state to approve a six-day bear hunt, its first in 5 years, this December. Officials plan to issue up to 10,000 hunting permits, and anticipate that as many of 750 of the 3,400-strong population will be killed, reports the AP.

As New Yorkers move closer and closer to the northwestern region of the state where the bears live, the creatures are finding it easier to live off crops and garbage. Wildlife officials reported 76 aggressive-bear incidents in the first six months of the year; the instances of bears threatening people or property increased 96% from 2006 through 2009. But the director of the New Jersey Sierra Club called the hunt "recreational," and added that "education, nonlethal bear management programs and methods for dealing with garbage do not exist in the plan because funding has been eliminated." (Read more New Jersey stories.)

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