Wildlife management has always been a contentious issue, with politicians arguing that the killing of wild bears and deer is necessary for their—and our—survival and animal lovers decrying the unlovely act (not to mention the euphemistic way politicians refer to it—sort of like Tony Soprano saying he works in “waste management”).
Next week, the Gateway Group of the Sierra Club will host a discussion on non-lethal alternatives to controlling deer and bear populations. The event takes place on Wednesday, May 2, at the Verona Boathouse in Verona Park (7-9pm) and will feature speakers Carol Rivielle of Preserve Our Wildlife NJ and Elaine Dunn of the NJ BEAR Education and Resource Group.
Rivielle, who has been pushing for using the contraceptive GonaCon (registered for use in New Jersey by the EPA) to control the deer population, has also looked into sterilization as a means to reducing deer numbers, and will include these methods in her discussion.
Dunn, who is the Senior V.P. of the NJ BEAR group’s education department, centers her discussions on how to be “Bear Smart.”
“We address very simple ways to deter bears from wanting to be in residential areas and what to do if one appears,” she tells us.
Bears are not predatory animals, she adds, but are opportunistic eaters who are drawn to garbage and other “goodies.” To keep an approaching bear away, she suggests using aversive techniques like blowing air horns, banging pots and pans to show the bear who’s in charge.
“We can coexist and live in harmony, but we need to respect and understand the black bears’ TRUE nature,” she says. “They are quite timid and non aggressive.”
For more information on the free event, contact John Beadle at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 973-986-1033.