New Hampshire’s Pardoned Bear Returns with 4 Surprises
May 02, 2018 04:06PM
● Published by Linda Ditch
Photo from Boston News
when someone is pardoned by New Hampshire’s governor, he or she doesn’t return
to the scene of the crime. However, this spring one criminal has popped back
up—the mother bear who was saved from being euthanized last spring. This time,
she brought four new cubs with her.
If you remember, last year the mama
bear and her three yearlings were “sentenced to death” by New Hampshire’s Fish
and Game Department because they had no fear of humans, so much so that they entered
a home near Dartmouth College searching for food. But the public raised a
ruckus about their pending demise, so Governor Chris Sununu ordered the bears to
be relocated instead of euthanized.
There was just one glitch—only the
three yearlings were caught and moved. Mama bear escaped capture by moving out
of the area to mate. She came back last August for a time, and now she’s back
with four little cubs, once again foraging for a handout.
Now the plan is to capture the
mother bear and her family and move them to a densely forested part of the
state up north. However, there will be a delay as Fish and Game wait for the
snow to melt and for tempting bear food such as berries and acorns to be available
for munching. They don’t want Mama teaching her cubs to eat food meant for humans.
In the meantime, officials did
tranquilize the mother—who weighed 180 pounds—to fit her with a tracking collar
and ear tags. (Her cubs watched from the safety of a nearby tree.) Now they’ll
know where to find her when moving day comes.
For now, the tracking device
allows them to see where she is searching for food and to educate residents and
business owners about what they need to do to keep the bears out of trash cans
and bird feeders.