Connecticut Bear Scare — False Alarm

Connecticut Bear Scare — False Alarm

For Immediate Release: 11 Jan. 2012

black bear

Contact: Nancy Rice
Friends of Animals
E-mail or Tel: 203.656.1522

Contact: Priscilla Feral,
President, Friends of Animals
E-mail or Tel: 203.656.1522

DARIEN, CT — Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is mulling a bear hunt lottery, sending an alarming message about big, bad bears ““ based less on facts than a fairy tale.

A look at the data shows the DEEP tallying bears in a way that can alarm the public and create a perceived need for hunting permits.

Friends of Animals, through the Freedom of Information Act, asked for documentation, and found that the sighting numbers consist of hearsay, not science. Several tallies could simply amount to one bear migrating from one area to another.

“Nor should bears be vilified because they happen to be seen ““ in a state of 3.5 million people,” said Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals.

Bears are not targeted in Connecticut, a state which has not held a bear hunt since 1840.

“We’re asking our members and Connecticut residents to assure the governor that while this idea might draw money from hunters in search of a new thrill, it’s wrongheaded,” Feral said.

Friends of Animals’ idea of a better plan? “Educate residents on how to co-exist with bears-including commonsense measures such as proper garbage disposal and storage, and not inadvertently attracting bears by using bird and squirrel feeders.”

American black bears (Ursus americanus) are native to North America, and are the continent’s smallest and most common bear species. They are omnivores whose diets vary, contingent on location and season. They typically live in woodlands, but are known to become attracted to human communities because of the availability of food.

Friends of Animals is asking members and Connecticut residents to contact the governor and ask that the bear hunt be removed from further consideration. The group has stated that the only appropriate action is education: to have Connecticut be a model for safe, ecologically aware living, involving respecting bears rather than turning them into an annual sport.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy can be reached at: governor.malloy@ct.gov or toll-free on 1-800-406-1527

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