Activists file suit to stop N.J. bear hunt

Animal rights activists have filed a lawsuit to try to stop the first bear hunt in New Jersey since 2005.Lawyer Doris Lin with the Bear Education and Resource Group claims there are scientific flaws in the state’s black bear management program.”For example the policy claims that male and female bears will be harvested in the ratio at which they exist in the population. The policy also claims that pregnant females will be denned and unavailable for harvest,” she said. “Well, both of those statements cannot be true.”State Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Larry Ragonese said Wednesday the hunt is needed to control an increasing bear population that has led to more than 3,000  complaints from residents this year.”These are a mix of everything from bears actually entering peoples’ homes, or killing their pet dogs, or attacking their livestock to bears tearing down your bird feeders or carrying away your trash,” said Ragonese.The bear hunt in seven northwestern New Jersey counties would be the first in the state since 2005.Lin said she hopes the appellate division will rule on the lawsuit before Monday’s scheduled start of the six-day hunt.

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