Yesterday marked the first day of New Jersey’s infamous bear hunt, which annually disturbs both people and bears. Jersey wildlife officials have announced that 257 black bears have been killed already. The first was a 166-pound female shot by a man from Arizona; the second was a 205-pound male bear shot by two New Jersey teens. (There are photos of the sad, dead bears. They are not adorable.)
Last year 592 bears were killed in the six-day hunt; state officials see no reason to anticipate anything very different this year.
As for why all the killing, and at holiday time, no less: Officials have been concerned for a while about New Jersey’s bear population. (They estimate that some 3,400 bears are running around.) However, those who don’t approve of bear killing think it’s cruel (the pictures don’t look “nice,” exactly) and that the state isn’t managing the bear population properly.
Jersey friends: Avoid donning any fur for a week or so.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 6, 2011