What Trophy Hunting Does to the Elephants It Leaves Behind

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/11/elephant-trophy-hunting-psychology-emotions/546293/

The legal African hunting programs that the Trump administration is reviewing affect more than population numbers.

Elephants play against a hazy sky.
Elephants play in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park.Goran Tomasevic / Reuters
If you were an elephant, you might be puzzling over human behavior this week. On Monday, the animal-rights attorney Steven Wise filed a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of three privately owned Asian elephants, arguing that the animals are “legal persons” who have a right to bodily liberty and should be free to live in a sanctuary. Then, on Thursday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the remains of elephants legally hunted in Zimbabwe and Zambia could now be legally imported to the United States as trophies.

This new policy overturned a ban put in place by the Obama administration in 2014. African elephants are considered “threatened” under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, a step below being endangered. The animals’ numbers have plunged from around 10 million 100 years ago to around 400,000 today, largely because of poaching and habitat loss. The Fish and Wildlife Service has not changed the elephants’ status; instead, it now argues that supporting “legal, well-managed hunting programs” will help provide “much-needed conservation dollars to preserve habitats and protect wild herds” in Zimbabwe and Zambia, the agency’s principal deputy director, Greg Sheehan, said in a news release.

But then, to further complicate matters, President Donald Trump tweeted Friday evening that nothing would actually change until he “reviews all conservation facts.”

The idea that killing more elephants will help save the species is counterintuitive, and its line of reasoning is difficult for many conservation organizations to support: Let rich hunters pay hefty sums to shoot elephants, and use the money to help conservation efforts and local communities. Supposedly, the villagers won’t then need to poach elephants to feed their families and pay their kids’ school fees. Still, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, or IUCN, a respected organization that sets the conservation status for all species, supportsthe notion.

But the evidence that “hunting elephants saves them” is thin. The hunting-safari business employs few people, and the money from fees that trickles down to the villagers is insignificant. A 2009 report from the IUCN revealed that sport hunting in West Africa does not provide significant benefits to the surrounding communities. A more recent report by an Australian economic-analysis firm for Humane Society International found that trophy hunting amounts to less than 2 percent of tourism revenue in eight African countries that permit it.*

And then, there is a larger moral question: How does hunting affect male elephants, especially the “big tuskers” that hunters want, and the overall population?

If elephants are recognized as legal persons, a term the U.S. courts have granted corporations and a New Zealand court gave to a river (elsewhere the term has been extended to chimpanzeesa bear, and the environment), it would be more difficult to hunt them at all—let alone import their body parts. Wise’s lawsuit cites extensive scientific studies that have established elephants’ cognitive abilities, emotional and empathetic natures, complex social lives, lifelong learning, and memory skills. “Taken together, the research makes it clear elephants are autonomous beings who have the capacity to choose how to live their lives as elephants,” he tells me.

One thing elephants would not choose, Wise and elephant researchers agree, is to be hunted. “It doesn’t matter to elephants if they are killed by poachers or trophy hunters,” says Joyce Poole, who has studied African elephants in the wild in Kenya and Mozambique for more than 40 years and is the codirector of ElephantVoices, a conservation organization. “Either way, you’re a killer. And if elephants understand that about you, they change their behavior.”

Elephants aren’t considered game animals in most African countries with substantial populations of these animals. But trophy hunters after large male elephants can seek their prey in South Africa, Namibia, Cameroon, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Gabon, and Mozambique. Kenya banned the sport in 1973, while Tanzania continued to permit legal hunting. That caused problems for the elephants of Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, says Poole, who was studying the large males in the park at the time. The park borders Tanzania, and after the Tanzanian government opened a hunting block on the opposite side, the Amboseli male elephants who wandered across became prized targets. 

“It was an awful time,” Poole recalled, “because on one side, the elephants learned to trust tourists—generally white people—in cars. From our studies, we know they can smell the difference between whites and local people. They also distinguish us by our languages. They know people who speak Maa, the language of the local Maasai people, may throw spears at them; those who speak English don’t.” However, the tables were turned on the Tanzanian side of the border. There, white people in cars who drove up close to see an elephant might lean out with a camera—or a rifle.

“The elephants didn’t run because they didn’t expect to be shot,” Poole said. Two of the large males she was studying were lost this way to trophy hunters. She and others protested to the Tanzanian government, and these particular hunting blocks were eventually closed.

Poole does not know how the loss of these big males, who’d fathered many calves, affected the other elephants. Female elephants, though, do mourn family members who die, and are especially troubled when the matriarch, their leader, passes. In 2003, for instance, researchers in Kenya’s Samburu National Reserve watched as Eleanor, an elephant family’s matriarch, died from natural causes. When Eleanor fell heavily to the ground, Grace, a matriarch from another family, used her tusks to lift her friend and helped her to her feet. Despite Grace’s efforts, Eleanor died that night. She had a tiny, six-month-old calf who never left her side. In a photograph, the calf stands like a small sentinel beside her mother’s body, while the rest of the family bunches together, grieving. 

Researchers have rarely seen similar moments among male elephants, who as adults, live away from the female herds they grew up in, and return only to mate. That behavior led to a “myth that males are far less social than females,” said George Wittemyer, a conservation biologist at Colorado State University in Fort Collins who has studied elephants in Kenya for more than 20 years. His new research contradicts this notion. “Actually, the males are always in groups and have preferences for certain companions. They’re not the loners they’ve been made out to be,” he said.

“The death of a bull will cause less disruption than the death of a family member,” said Iain Douglas-Hamilton, a zoologist who founded the organization Save the Elephants. “If a bull is shot while associating with a family the others will normally run away.” But he noted: “Bulls will defend or help each other sometimes, when one is down.”

From a population standpoint, “older male elephants are very important to the health and genetic vitality of a population,” said Cynthia Moss, who has led the Amboseli Elephant Research Project in Kenya since 1972. While hunters in the past have used the belief that older males are reproductively senile as an argument for killing them for their ivory, research has revealed that they are in fact an elephant population’s primary breeders. “By living to an older age, [older males show that] they have the traits for longevity and good health to pass on to their offspring,” Moss said. “Killing these males compromises the next generation of the population.”

It’s not clear if the Fish and Wildlife Service will consider how trophy hunting affects individual elephants or their families. The agency didn’t comment on Trump’s tweet when contacted, but later issued a public statement confirming that permits would be put on hold. “President Trump and I have talked and both believe that conservation and healthy herds are critical,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in the statement.

Wise believes that the emotional and psychological suffering the elephants endure from this sport is obvious. “One day it will be seen for the moral outrage that it is,” he said.

Before Trump’s tweet, the Fish and Wildlife Service had intended to begin issuing permits for importing elephant trophies on Friday. The new policy would apply to elephants hunted in Zimbabwe between January 21, 2016, and December 31, 2018, as well as elephants hunted in Zambia from 2016 to 2018. Regardless of how hunting affects elephants, if the policy goes through, some hunters will have trophies waiting for them in those countries.

Advertisements

Brigitte Bardot says Trump ‘unfit’ after permitting elephant trophies

 https://www.modernghana.com/news/817234/brigitte-bardot-says-trump-unfit-after-permitting-elephan.html
AFP
French actress and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot had previously criticized US President Donald Trump over his administration's move to loosen restrictions on hunting bears and wolves on federally protected land in Alaska.  By ERIC FEFERBERG (AFP/File)

French actress and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot had previously criticized US President Donald Trump over his administration’s move to loosen restrictions on hunting bears and wolves on federally protected land in Alaska. By ERIC FEFERBERG (AFP/File)

French screen legend and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot on Friday slammed US President Donald Trump as “unfit for office” after his administration’s “shameful actions” in authorizing the import of Zimbabwean elephant hunting trophies.

The move Thursday reverses a prohibition imposed under former president Barack Obama, permitting the import of “sport-hunted trophies from elephants hunted in Zimbabwe” between January 21, 2016 and December 31, 2018. Zambia will also be covered under the revised rule.

“No despot in the world can take responsibility for killing off an age-old species that is part of the world heritage of humanity,” Bardot said in a letter to Trump, released through Fondation Brigitte Bardot.

The move is “a cruel decision backed by Zimbabwe’s crazy dictator and it confirms the sick and deadly power you assert over the entire plant and animal kingdom.”

“Your shameful actions confirm the rumors that you are unfit for office,” the 83-year-old added.

According to the Great Elephant Census project, African savannah elephant populations fell by 30 percent between 2007 and 2014, while Zimbabwe saw a drop of six percent.

Animal rights activists camp out to stop culling of wolf in Germany

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/02/animal-rights-activists-camp-stop-culling-wolf-germany/

Animal rights activists have flocked to eastern Germany in a bid to prevent the culling of a wolf that has been preying on local farmers’ sheep.

Activists from across Germany are camping out in the forests of Upper Lausitz, a sparsely populated area near the border with Poland, in an attempt to stop hunters tracking down the wolf.

“I’ve been here since Monday. We’re protecting the wolves and facing down the hunters,” Bettina Jung, the head of Germany’s Animal Protection Party, told Bild newspaper.

But local farmers are furious at what they see as the activists’ interference. “These radical eco-warriors hang around in the dark with their cars and night vision equipment, scaring my livestock,” one said.

The head of the local hunting association has called on landowners to press criminal charges against the activists.

French breeders hold a banner with a quote by French poet Victor Hugo reading "He who saves the wolf kills the sheep" as they demonstrate in Lyon to draw attention to rising wolf attacks on sheep
French breeders hold a banner with a quote by French poet Victor Hugo reading “He who saves the wolf kills the sheep” as they demonstrate in Lyon to draw attention to rising wolf attacks on sheepCREDIT: AFP

Wolves are generally protected by strict laws in Germany as an endangered species, and killing them is prohibited.

But local authorities have lifted the ban for a specific pack that has repeatedly attacked farms and mauled sheep in the area.

The stand-off between activists and farmers is a sign of the growing tensions as the rapidly rising wolf population begins to encroach on human habitations.

Just twenty years ago, there were no wolves left in Germany after the species was hunted to extinction in the early 20th century.

But wolves have made a remarkable comeback since the end of the Cold War. When the Iron Curtain fell and border defences were removed, they began to wander back into Germany from neighbouring Poland.

Today, there are believed to be more than 30 packs roaming Germany, and wolves have been photographed just 30 miles from Hamburg, the country’s second largest city.

The lifting on the hunting ban on what authorities have named the “Rosenthal Pack” only applies to a specific wolf which has been identified attacking sheep, and not to the pack in general.

A single licensed hunter has been appointed by the authorities to track and kill the culprit.

But the activists are determined to stop that happening. “We try to disturb the hunters, and keep watch over the sheep pastures,” said Stefan Voss, who patrols the forest every night.

Oppose Continued Torture of Turkeys in Nightmare Arkansas Festival!

https://www.peta.org/action/action-alerts/urgent-turkeys-hurled-from-airplane/

[What kind of twisted species would hurl live turkeys from airplanes? It underscores their disrespect for the animals whose death they celebrate every fall.]

Every October, the city of Yellville, Arkansas, holds its annual Turkey Trot, an event that includes the notorious “turkey drop.” This year was no exception, as live domestically bred wild turkeys—who normally would fly only short distances and low to the ground—were hurled from an airplane, the courthouse roof, buildings, and the festival stage into the clutches of a frenzied crowd. Thankfully, four birds were rescued by local PETA supporters and provided with veterinary treatment, and they’re currently safe in foster care. More information about this year’s sadistic event can be viewed here.

Once again, please urge Yellville officials to end this cruelty, which is a blight on the entire state—then forward this alert to everyone you know.

The Honorable Clinton L. Evans
Marion County Sheriff
491 Hwy. 62 W.
Yellville, AR 72687
Please click here to send an e-mail.
870-449-4236

The Honorable Kenford O. Carter
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
105 S. Berry St.
Yellville, AR 72687
870-449-4018

Vegan Demographics 2017 – USA, and the world

http://veganbits.com/vegan-demographics-2017/

vegan demographics

 It’s been a long time since I’ve written about vegan demographics. Do we care? Should we care? Probably not, but since Jane and I are coming up on ten years as vegans in a few months, I figured now was a good time to look at the vegan demographic statistics. As you might suspect, it’s not easy to determine how many vegans there are. It’s not like you enter that information on your census report. There are all sorts of polls on vegetarians and vegans. I like getting my data from faunalytics.org. Most, but not all of the following information is from their site.

We are the one (half) percent

So how many vegans are there in the USA? Based on a sampling of 11,000 adults, aged 17 and over, only two percent of Americans are vegetarian. Only one-in-four vegetarians — or 0.5% of the USA adult population — is vegan. Only half of one percent of the USA population — or 1.62 million of us — is vegan.

(Is 11,000 a reasonable sampling? Perhaps you are think that this sampling is too small and is therefore skewing the results. I suspect otherwise. This sampling is, by far, the largest such sampling that I’ve found. Most other such polls are usually only looking at about 2,000 people.)

There are many former vegans than there are current vegans; there are more than five times as many former vegetarians/vegans than there are current vegetarians/vegans. Said differently, 84% of vegetarians/vegans abandon their diet. Extrapolated out, that means that there are 8 million lapsed vegans as opposed to the 1.6 million current vegans.

Only about one-in-eight Americans has ever considered themselves vegetarian/vegan. Roughly 88 percent of Americans have always considered themselves omnivorous/carnivorous.

Vegan Demographics

So who are the 1.6 million vegans? You might be surprised to find that the average age of a vegan today is 42. I suspect that many people think that most vegans are in their 20’s and 30’s. According to this research, those young adults only account for about half of all vegans.

What is less surprising is that 74% — almost three-in-four vegans — are female. Most vegans are left leaning politically and are not religious.

So perhaps it comes as no surprise that the typical vegan is female, left learning, non-religious. Let’s look at longevity. As we have seen, there are many more former vegetarians/vegans than people who currently eat this way. The survey suggests that for many, it’s fleeting. Only about one-third (34%) maintained the diet for three months or less, and more than half (53%) of former vegetarians/vegans adhered to the diet for less than one year. So it appears that people try this lifestyle on for size and for one reason or another, half of them go back to their normal, traditional diet after a year or less.

If you are thinking that the current vegetarians/vegans might return to their former omni eating ways, only 12% of the current vegetarians/vegans in the survey have been eating this way for less than a year. Therefore, 88% of those who claim to be vegetarian/vegan have been so for over a year, presumably many have been eating this way for several years.

Income

While this might come as a surprise to some, there are more vegans in the lower end of the income range. The average American earns $54,000. The largest concentration of vegans is in the sub $50,000 income range.

This, according to data gathered by VRG as reported by the Huffington Post.

Why the discrepancy? It’s probably age related; there are more vegans in their 20’s and 30’s than there are in their 50’s and older. Older adults are more likely to have higher incomes than younger adults.

The Huffington Post article suggest that younger people are more likely to be vegan and tend to have lower incomes than older people:

Six percent of survey respondents between 18 and 34 were vegetarians compared to only two percent who were over 55. Young people are also more likely to make less money than older adults as more of them are students or are starting their careers.

(The information reported above from Faunalytics indicated that the average age was 42. This survey from VRG suggests that there are far fewer vegans in their 50’s than in their 20’s. The VRG survey which sampled 2,000 adults also found a closer ratio of vegans based on gender than the Faunalytics survey of 11,000 found. The VRG survey suggests that women make up only 55% of vegans. Anecdotal evidence would suggest that Faunalytics determination that women account for 74% of vegans seems more accurate to me.)

Why are you vegan?

Participants in the study were asked about their motivations for eating a vegetarian/vegan diet. A great many people indicated that they are vegan for health, taste, and humanitarian reasons.

The same questions were asked of former vegetarians/vegans. There is a statistically significant association between nearly all of the motivations tested and whether an individual is a current or former vegetarian/ vegan, with the exception of cost, social influence, and wanting to follow a food trend.

Most Vegan Friendly Cities in America

According to PETA, the most vegan friendly cities in America are:

  1. Portland, Oregon
  2. Los Angeles, California
  3. New York City, New York
  4. Detroit, Michigan
  5. Nashville, Tennessee
  6. San Diego, California
  7. Honolulu, Hawaii
  8. Austin, Texas
  9. Seattle, Washington
  10. Richmond, Virginia

There are many websites which have their own way of determining which cities are most vegan-friendly. Having never been to Detroit or Richmond, I have to say that those locations come as a surprise to me. Several of the other large cities appear on everyone’s list.

Vegan Demographics: Largest Concentration of Vegans (by country)

The following two tables are derived from data gathered by Wikipedia

  1. United States
  2. Japan
  3. Germany
  4. Poland
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Israel
  7. Italy
  8. Sweden
  9. Spain
  10. Finland

These are the only ten countries that they have listed for vegans. It comes as a surprise to me that there are so many vegans in Japan. Maybe it’s just the volume of people that skews this data somewhat. According to this table, there more than 3 million of the 127 million residents of Japan are vegans.

Vegan Demographics: Largest Percentage of Vegans (by country)

As you can see, Israel has the largest concentration of vegans, with five percent of the population indicated to be vegan. The USA only ranks fifth on this list.

Please not that the data from Wikipedia suggests that 1.5% of the USA population is vegan, whereas the data from Faunalytics indicates that only 0.5% of the USA population is vegan; just one-third as many.

Romania to kill bears, wolves after rise in attacks

https://phys.org/news/2017-09-romania-wolves.html

Romania on Monday said it would kill or relocate 140 bears and 97 wolves following a rise in the number of attacks on humans, sparking outrage from animal rights groups.

The measures aim to “prevent important damages and protect  and safety”, the environment ministry said in a statement.

A government-appointed commission of scientists backed the move, saying that it did not “endanger the conservation of these two species”.

The decision to let the authorities carry out the killings also “prevents “, according to the experts.

But the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) strongly denounced the measure and blamed the issue on deforestation.

“The authorities should first address the problems that have prompted bears to get closer and closer to  in the search for food,” Cristian Papp, the head of WWF’s Romanian branch, told AFP.

Last October, a similar outcry forced the environment ministry to retract quotas allowing hunters to kill 552 bears, 657 wolves and 482 lynxes.

Romania’s vast areas of virgin forest are home to around 6,000 brown bears—some 60 percent of Europe’s population—which mostly roam the Carpathian Mountains.

In recent months, an increasing number have entered towns and villages looking for food.

In July, two shepherds were seriously injured in a bear attack in the Carpathian region.

A month earlier, authorities were forced to temporarily close the famous Poenari Castle—the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s gothic novel “Dracula”—after tourists came face to face with a mother bear and her three cubs.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-09-romania-wolves.html#jCp

 

More consider the source…

Tinder urges singletons to stop posting selfies with ‘drugged up’ tigers after pressure from animal activists

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4757948/Tinder-urges-users-stop-posting-selfies-tigers.html

  • The company has pledged to donate $10,000 if people stop posting the pictures
  • It has said the pictures ‘take advantage of beautiful creatures’ torn from their natural environment
  • The move follows pressure from animal rights group PETA, which wrote to co-founder Sean Rad
  • Selfies with tigers are so popular on the site that a number of Instagram accounts have been set up to share them 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4757948/Tinder-urges-users-stop-posting-selfies-tigers.html#ixzz4qQC3RGfv
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Dating app Tinder has called on its users to stop posting pictures of themselves alongside heavily-drugged tigers.

The company has said it is time for the selfies to go, claiming they take advantage of ‘beautiful creatures that have been torn from their natural environment’.

It follows calls from animal rights activists to act on the images, which they say appear frequently on Tinder.

Animal rights activists have called on Tinder to take action against the number of people pictured posing with tigers

Animal rights activists have called on Tinder to take action against the number of people pictured posing with tigers

The pictures 'take advantage of beautiful animals that have been torn from their natural environment'

The pictures ‘take advantage of beautiful animals that have been torn from their natural environment’

Such is their popularity among those looking for love that a number of Instagram accounts have been set up dedicated to sharing screenshots of users who pose with big cats.

The company says it will donate $10,000 to a conservation charity if the pictures disappear.

In a blog post, Tinder wrote: ‘It’s time for the tiger selfies to go.

In a blog post, Tinder wrote: 'It's time for the tiger selfies to go'

It urged people to post pictures of themselves planting trees instead

In a blog post, Tinder wrote: ‘It’s time for the tiger selfies to go’. It urged people to post pictures of themselves planting trees instead

Pictures of people posing with tigers are widely shared on Instagram, prompting calls for the practice to end

Pictures of people posing with tigers are widely shared on Instagram, prompting calls for the practice to end

‘More often than not, these photos take advantage of beautiful creatures that have been torn from their natural environment. Wild animals deserve to live in the wild.

‘We are looking to you, as part of our Tinder community, to make a change. Take down your tiger photos, and we will make it worth your while by donating $10,000 to Project Cat in honor of International Tiger Day.’

Instead it encouraged singletons to try and attract partners by showing themselves doing things like planting trees or volunteering at animal shelters.

A 22-year-old woman poses with a tiger on the popular dating app, which has asked users to take the pictures down

A 22-year-old woman poses with a tiger on the popular dating app, which has asked users to take the pictures down

Some believe that posting pictures of themselves with tigers makes them look well travelled and projects a positive image

There are growing calls for people to stop posting these images

Some believe that posting pictures of themselves with tigers makes them look well travelled and projects a positive image

And the blog continued: ‘We urge you to take down your tiger photos, tag your friends to do it too, or simply join the conversation on social with #NoTigerSelfies.’

In a letter to Tinder co-founder Sean Rad, animal rights group Peta called for action.

The organization wrote: ‘What might, at first swipe, look like a harmless picture actually means that someone was caged, dominated, and tied down or drugged before their photo was taken and uploaded online.

‘If this happened to one of your users on a Tinder date, you’d block the profile of the person responsible immediately. Unfortunately, this is the reality for tigers, lions, and other big cats who are featured in an alarming number of Tinder profile photos.’

And it continues: ‘Not only are these types of photos cruel to animals, unaware Tinderlings might also mistake them for cute, harmless pictures and be prompted to take part in this abusive industry themselves.’

While some Twitter users congratulated Tinder for taking a stand, another wrote: ‘This.. is really stupid. #NoTigerSelfies is just this organization virtue signalling. It does nothing.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4757948/Tinder-urges-users-stop-posting-selfies-tigers.html#ixzz4qQBorUCR
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Animal rights advocates protest killing of bear in Union Beach

HAZLET — About 36 animal rights advocates lined the north bound side of Route 36 at Poole Avenue in Hazlet Thursday evening to protest the death of a black bear on Memorial Day weekend.

Car horns blared in support of the group, while others jeered. A passerby yelled, “Go home.” One protester’s response: We’re in New Jersey, this is our home.

The bear was killed by Union Beach police on May 28, after a four-hour stakeout, and after police were denied assistance from the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife, police have said.

Lauretta Iavarone, a local business owner from Red Bank, said her conscience motivated her to attend the protest. She said the killing of the bear was a real shame.

“Even though I do understand the parameters, it’s very sad and it makes you sad,” Iavarone said.

Janine Motta, programs director at the Animal Protection League of New Jersey, said they organized a protest to raise awareness about bear populations being relocated and growing in new areas, and to tell people that the state isn’t providing tools to mitigate this situation.

“This really has to be exposed and has to be talked about more,” Motta said.

Motta said the local police department has told her the department is very responsive and open to having a conversation about bear safety education programs and using nonlethal options in the future.

She said state officials refused to tranquilize the bear, because the incident was reported at night. It was also on Sunday.

This particular bear was obviously part of the state’s relocation effort, because it was registered in Stillwater, which is too great a distance for a bear to travel undetected and without incident, Motta said.

Susan M. Kearney, a member of Bear Education and Resource who helped organize Thursday’s event, said the overall response from the Union Beach community has been very positive.

“I think it was a great turnout. It’s more people than we expected,” Kearney said.

The bear was first spotted on May 27 near Edmunds Avenue.

Around 10 p.m. that day, Union Beach police sent a warning to local residents to stay away from the animal. Then police contacted state Fish & Wildlife for assistance — requesting the state tranquilize and relocate the bear. Fish & Wildlife denied the local request saying, “this is outside of our protocol,” according to a police department Facebook post.

The statement further said the state department provided “rudimentary” instructions on how to handle the situation, which included: Warn homeowners and pedestrians about the situation, turn emergency lights away from the animal and follow its movements from a safe distance.

The local officers followed these suggestion “to the letter,” the police wrote on Facebook.

After hours of monitoring the bear from a safe distance, the animal headed toward Florence Avenue, a busy area inundated with residents and weekend traffic.

The police department post further said the decision to put the bear down “was not made lightly. However, the safety of residents and their families must always take top priority.”

Another large bear was spotted in Middletown on Friday, May 26, but it’s unclear whether it was the same animal.

David J. Del Grande may be reached at ddelgrande@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @SLOSONE. Find NJ.com on Facebook.