Black Bear Hunting: Annual Cull in New Jersey to continue this Week
Last week wasn’t good enough for bear population in New Jersey as hunting season started amid protests by animal rights activists. Official figures show that the state’s 18% bear population has been killed by hunters this season.
Like last year, hundreds of bears have been killed this year too. New Jersey officials said this hunting season, in an effort to curb’s black bear population in the state, more than 470 bears have been nabbed. They also said that the killing will continue this week.
State environmental officials said the decision to hunt black bears was taken about five year ago to control the animal’s population in northwestern New Jersey. The population has reached 3,500 bears today compared with just 100 more than four decades ago, they added.
Some biologists said the black bear population has swelled because the large forests of northwestern New Jersey are ideal habitats for the animal. Female black bears find enough space to produce large litters there, as per the biologists.
During the state’s first hunting season in 2010, hunters shot about 592 bears, but last year, 272 bears were nabbed. Al Ivany from the state Department of Environmental Protection said, “The bear population has remained level in recent years, but the goal of the hunt is to decrease their overall numbers”.
To boost hunters, the state Department of Environmental Protection expanded the hunting area to 1,600 square miles across eight counties. Offcials hope this season’s hunting season will eliminate 20% of black bear population of the region.
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