Newark Bear Hunt Continues

This is the second bear to be killed this week in New Jersey.


NJARA spoke with Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith and Irvington Police Director Michael Damiano who said that reports to them from the field say that the bear acted aggressively toward the animal control officer trying to tranquilize him and an officer fatally shot the bear. That is out of sync with the article at the end of this email. NJARA is looking into it and waiting to hear from the town on Thursday once they are all briefed on the incident, but in the meantime, if anyone knows anyone who was on the scene and can confirm or deny this, please call NJARA at 732-446-6808.

NJARA is also doing an OPRA request to see if this bear was a previously tagged and relocated by Fish & Wildlife (They have a history of relocation bears to different parts of the state. We know they relocated a bear in 2005 to Monmouth County, hardly prime bear habitat).

For now, please make the following calls letting those below know the following:

1) Governor Corzine
(do NOT let them put you through to Fish & Wildlife!!! Tell them you want to leave a message for Corzine.) Phone: 609-292-6000 When people called in they were told that the state was taking a tally, but that's not good enough. The state needed to ACT on the input from the public. We have word that even hunters were calling in against this bear being shot! When is Corzine going to take a stand on bear issues in NJ? He sure talked about it a lot BEFORE the election, but has been silent since taking office.

2) Lisa Jackson, DEP Commissioner
(do NOT let them put you through to Fish & Wildlife!!! Tell them you want to leave a message for Jackson or the Deputy Commissioner Watson.) Phone: 609-292-2885 There obviously was a breakdown in communication between the state and local authorities. The state was deluged with calls to save the bear's life, but none of that appeared to have filtered down to the town, who, while appearing to have acted in the interest of public safety, would have greatly benefited by input from the state.

3) Dave Chanda, Director of Division of Fish & Wildlife Phone: 609-292-9410 Why isn't the state working with police departments to train them on bear behavior and the use of tranquilizer guns? If bears have been moved to every county in New Jersey, then every effort to educate the police about them should have been undertaken.

4) Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith
Phone: 973-219-5245
We are outraged that this bear was killed. Bears do not act aggressively and if the police had the proper training, they would have realized this bear was reacting out of fear and not aggression. Bluff charges and blowing is classic bear behavior. The situation could have been remedied effectively with a tranquilizer and relocation.

5) Irvington Police Director Michael Damiano
Phone: 973-399-6507
There should have been an aggressive plan in place to tranquilize the bear. Why was he being followed by police and not by animal control officers all along?

Janine Motta
New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance (NJARA)
PO Box 174
Englishtown NJ
07726 732/446-6808
Fax: 732/446-0227

Newark Bear Hunt Continues
Posted: Wednesday, 10 May 2006 1:11PM

Informant: Blue Ridge Mama


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