Clifton Black Bear Shooting Prompts Protest, 7/24

The small black bear that wandered back and forth across Route 46 on Wednesday came to a bad ending, when he was shot and killed by police, who stated that the animal was creating a hazardous condition on the highway. The BEAR Group, an educational organization that teaches NJ residents how to live responsibly and peacefully with black bears, has called a protest rally for Sunday, July 24, from 10 a.m. to noon at Van Houten and Clifton Avenues, stating that the shooting was an extreme “act of cruelty.”

According to the organization’s chair and co-chair, Eleanor Hoffman and Cathy McCartney, witnesses have reported that the cub wasn’t actually on the road when it was shot, but was in a wooded area off of the highway. “Another source tells us that this cub was shot while the police were waiting for the Division of Fish & Wildlife to arrive,” they said in an email to the group’s members.

West Orange animal rights activist Carol Rivielle, told Baristanet that the Fish and Wildlife officers would have likely tranquilized the bear, rather than shooting to kill. She explained that Fish & Wildlife relocate stray bears, though often to the Assunpink Wildlife Management Area in Monmouth County, far from their natural habitat.

“It is truly a mystery how this bear cub and another female bear with a cub [recently in Union County] showed up so far from bear country,” said Rivielle in an email. “There are no wooded corridors remaining where a female bear or cub could have traveled through from their Northern NJ natural habitat, and not have been seen along the way.”

Also on Wednesday, a different bear was found cooling off in a variety of North Caldwell pools. Last month, a female bear was shot and killed in Union Township, and last weekend, a 200 pound cub wandered through neighborhoods around Westfield, until it was chased up a tree by a local dog. The cub stayed on the branch until it was tranquilized. It was later released in northern Morris County.

Rivielle suspects that the latter could have been the orphan cub of the one killed in Union. She says that there is no reason to fear Black Bears, and cites the work of bear biologist Lynn Rogers.

One thing is for certain, there are more and more wildlife sightings every day in Baristaville. Where’s Dr. Doolittle when you need him?

Photo credit: HBarrison

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  1. They probably couldn’t wait for the Fish & Wildlife people to get there with tranquilizers. A judgement call had to be made. I’m sure not lightly.

    It’s sad that the people charged with insuring our safety have to deal with rabid “activists”.

  2. I know, ROC! Especially when you’re in your car barelling down a “wooded area off of the highway.” Scary, indeed.

    From what was reported, it certainly sounds like an extreme measure and a lack of respect for wildlife.

  3. This is an outrage to any human with any sense decency whatsoever. I will not stand idly by, listening passively to the conversations of you people, talking each to each and one to another, while the life of a bear–one of nature’s creatures, a gift to humankind–was so callously taken. If it sounds like I’m being disrespectful, that my behavior is flabbergasting to any of you, well, that’s just something you’re going to have to learn to live with.

  4. No tud. Perhaps just the 200 pound ones ones running back and forth across one of our busiest highways with the capacity to crush your skull in its mouth.

  5. Yes, ROC, how ridiculous of you. It’s totally unnecessary to kill a bear that is crossing and recrossing route 46. As long as he’s staying on the crosswalks, it should be fine.

    In the national parks when a bear gets accustomed to humans, foraging among the garbage bins and campsites and so forth, the park rangers shoot them.

  6. You three (but it’s really only two, right Mathilda?) can be as antagonistic as you want about something you really don’t care about. All I and others are saying is that killing a cub that was likely frightened to be on a highway sounds extreme and that tranquilizing the animal would have been a more humane approach.

  7. “tranquilizing the animal would have been a more humane approach.”

    And who is disagreeing? No one. Even the cops called Fish & Wildlife. They just couldn’t wait because of an imminent danger to the public.

    The antagonists are the “activists” calling this an “extreme act of cruelty.”

  8. Like the old joke goes, why did the bear keep crossing and recrossing Route 46? To get to the other side.

    But probably really because he was confused and frightened. Not one of the Clifton PD’s proudest moments.

    And really, ROC, how come you never seem the least but compassionate towards animals? I’ve noticed this. Do you even have any pets yourself? Have you ever had pets? You’re sure not the greatest friend animalm shelters havge.

    Walleroo, you were just trying as usual to be your affable, wussy self. This time, however, I think your posts fell; very flat.

    May you both someday seem to armed others to pose a similarly dire hazard to traffic, then.

  9. Well, ROC, when someone is passionate about an issue and wants to get people to listen, that is the kind of language they use. It’s not my approach but I would think you would understand this style.

  10. All these assumptions.

    Who really knows if the cops could or couldn’t have waited for the wildlife people? I wasn’t there, so I can’t say. I can certainly see how it might have been impossible to wait, or at least how the cops could have reached the decision that it was best to shoot. Maybe the cops aren’t trained to deal with wildlife and made the wrong call from ignorance. Who knows? I’m trying not to make too many assumptions about it.

    Also, far from “not really caring,” I would have much preferred that the animal had been tranquilized and relocated. In general I would prefer that all creatures, great and small, live in harmony with one another, but alas, our Maker didn’t rack’em up that way, which is too bad.

  11. Cathar, I have pets, and always have. I like them a great deal. But I never confuse them with people and feel that their safety and protection should never be at the expense of human safety. Would I have liked the bear to be tranquilized rather than shot? Yes. Do I trust the police to make that life and death decision on the spot regarding bears? Yes.

  12. Probably will walleroo. At a time when we don’t have enough cops to keep crime at bay in Montclair, let’s spend a couple of million statewide giving police specialized animal training.

    (and people wonder why were broke)

  13. How often do the police shoot deer or stray dogs that create a safety hazard along the highway? Sorry, but I have to call bullcrap on this one.

  14. Let me get this straight, it’s better to kill a bear than inconvenience people? Way to show your selfish and ignorant mindset.

    Bears aren’t dangerous, humans are.

  15. Sorry RoC, your supremus humanus approach is very outdated. We are the caretakers of this planet and have failed miserably.

  16. Hi Everyone,

    I am a former Montclarion who moved to bear country 8 yrs ago and now I’m the Co-Chair of the Bear Education And Resource Group. My neighborhood is literally in the center of Wawayanda State Park but only occasionally do I see a bear. I have a bear resistant trash can and I have no problems. Black bears (as opposed to Grizzlies) are flight animals whose instinct is to run up the nearest tree when confronted. Several years ago I took part in a rescue–the BEAR Group located and treed TWO orphan cubs. And we kept them in the trees until help arrived and they were taken to a wildlife rehabilitator. This cub was a frightened orphan who could and should have been tranquilized–not shot to death. If anyone would like to show your support for bears, please join us on Sunday. If you would like to learn more, visit our site:

    Baristanet…thank you for calling attention to this issue.

  17. Hey Right of Center who kills more people either in cars or any other method people or bears? I guess that makes people fallible but not police their decisions are above reproach you can tell that just by watching the news every week. They never make bad decisions do they?

  18. What’s a social life? I think it’s a work life with just a scooch of social thrown in the mix, shaken not stirred.

  19. (The old “he asked for it” excuse…)

    Words to incite? Better yet, and acronym to incite? (Or here, invite?)

    That you believe he- and we, by reading- were deserving of being equated with the horror in Norway is telling…

  20. Have you ever heard of sarcasm? I like your nursery rhyming (using your word telling) and your lack of sense of irony (also telling). I guess you don’t watch The Daily Show. You are far from a professor but the fact you have to use that name to try to make yourself appear educated is also, guess what? Telling.

  21. Professor why do you feel it is your place to comment on something I said to Right of Center? Can’t he speak for himself? Are you the Comment Police? I guess you Right Wing Conservatives stick together. I believe he can speak for himself and if you don’t like what I addressed to him – don’t read it. Frankly what he wrote way before what I wrote was incendiary. So if you feel like lecturing on incendiary writing you should address what he wrote also. What I said was humorous and I know your response, it wasn’t funny, just what all the over-the-hill, old school, church lady (I am sure you are not familiar with this character from Saturday Night Live) people would say. Stick to what you know best – crocheting or dominos.

  22. Oh, right. Sarcasm… Irony… Sorry. Feel free to bring up a horror and conflate it with an anonymous name on a blog and call it SARCASM.

    Also, take caution in comparing yourself, or your style, to “The Daily Show.” Because while I don’t watch it, I certainly know that Mr. Stewart is a funny social critic who doesn’t has to tell folks he’s being sarcastic. Or ironic.

    Other than that, your both are very similar…

    (As for my credentials, I’m anonymous with a created screen name that may or may not represent me- the pix IS me, btw. So feel free to think I’m not smart enough to be a Prof., a trash collector, physicist, crossing guard, biochemist, or zoo keeper -of the radio variety, it doesn’t really matter, or take away from how offensive your earlier post was.)

    Here, you are very right concerning the cops and this bear, I just didn’t like your use of the Norway tragedy.

    No biggie. Enjoy the day. Hope to read more from you.

  23. How did the bear protest go? Did anyone go? Baristas? Oh, please don’t tell me you missed an opportunity to cover a barn burner like this. I’m hoping you did and are just taking your time getting the story ready…

  24. Go easy on evolved, prof. It takes a while for these newbies to get the volume right, sometimes. Particularly for the ones who have pent-up rage for particular posters, which in the case of ROQ I can certainly understand (it’s his fault that I have no molars left, which sometimes makes me think he’s a dentist).

  25. @walleroo I’m going to make a bear of a guess here and suggest johnleeandsandiego went with his trusty camera and we’ll be seeing his first hand photo journalism account on flickr really soon.

  26. I used to live in Montclair a long time ago. Has it turned into a right wing Republican town because they are the only people who can afford it now? I know Maplewood is filled with mostly Republicans but I would be sorry if Montclair went that direction also.

    As far as the comment I made about Right of Center’s screen name I have a suggestion. If he (did I guess the gender right?) doesn’t want to be disparaged for his screen name, I suggest he does not choose one so obvious of his politics. I have also made the same suggestion to a driver of a car with a bumper sticker that said Dig Baby Dig. I do not hide behind a screen name and blog I would actually do the same thing out in the “real” world if someone was blatant enough to wear their politics on their sleeve.

  27. I’m not sure how it is that you don’t hide behind a screen name, unless your real name is Ethyl V. Olved. Assuming that’s not the case, what should we infer from your screen name? That you are a higher order of being than the rest of us plebes? That you believe in evolution (unlike those Troglodyte Republicans in Kansas)?

  28. I rest my case. You right wing republicans do stick together. Seems like I flushed out another one who feels compelled to attack me personally when I did not address them and that makes them fair game (turnaround etc etc). What is it with you republicans? Since you asked, yes I do feel that I am further evolved than many of you “plebes” or maybe I just have my finger a little closer to the pulse than you. I am younger thinking than you. Your time has passed. You are a dinosaur in the way you think.

    Did you read my entire statement about not hiding behind a screen name? I tried (emphasis on tried) to communicate that if someone offended me by shoving their politics in my face (Right of Center screen name) even in the real world (my bumper sticker example) I would feel they have opened the door for a discussion (read retaliation) to their political views which they have expressed before even opening their mouth (screen name and bumper sticker). I therefore would do out in public, the same thing I would do here on this blog. I would open my mouth and return the favor of my opinion, face to face. I find many people who blog are only outspoken of their opinions when they have the screen to hide behind. Even I however am not crazy enough to put my real name on an internet newspaper blog with a bunch of blood crazed republicans (the wolves have circled). Maybe I will bump into you at a Tea Party rally someday, they are always good for a laugh.

  29. sorry to disappoint DagT but since standing up for the Montclair Animal Shelter after that person posted lies about them abusing black cats, feral cats and putting down FELV and FIV+ cats I have been persona non grata in Baristaville. Didn’t cover the protest, or know if it even happened.

    btw the shelter doesn’t do any of that, as most of the recent photos added to the Baristanet flickr group prove. There are several black cats, elderly cats, and FELV and FIV+ cats available for adoption. I even had fun playing and photographing a socialized feral cat who was a part of a colony of feral cats from Nutley. The rest of the gang has been adopted out, but Raider is still waiting for a home.

    Regardless how many times pat_galleran invokes the name of Cary Africk and blathers on about euthanasia and data, it still doesn’t happen at the shelter.

    Right now I am waiting for the veterinary clearance for one of the munchkins that I hope to take home soon. So I might have gotten my ass kicked on B’net but I may very well have another best friend running around the house, so I win regardless.

  30. I drove by the protest on the way to a friend’s house in Clifton today. It was well attended but seemed very peaceful…Lots of people with signs.

    johnlee, your pix from the shelter’s party are helping people to see the good things that go on there…

  31. that shit storm that was kicked up regarding the shelter did result in some nice sized donations AND with nearly 6,000 views of the slideshow, some of the dogs and cats whose names appeared in the photos have had people make inquiries about them (I cannot recall which ones have pending adoptions, but there are a bunch)

    cool to know the protest happened, its good to know that activism isn’t just stuck in the rut of facebook and twitter

  32. That’s great to hear about the pending adoptions…Thanks again to you and Baristanet for covering the event!

  33. Thanks for the favor of a retaliation, Ms E.V. Olved. I’ll save a place for you at the next tea party. I hope you like cucumber sandwiches.

  34. @johnlee At least spell my name right. I posted no lies but did post directly from the Montclair Animal Shelter Volunteer booklet and pointed out that the shelter refuses to give anyone (even via OPRA request) the adoption numbers, euthanasia numbers and numbers of animals that it has refused to accept.

    My point is that if there is nothin g to hide the numbers should be reddily given and THEY ARE NOT.

    And @johnlee YOU claimed that the shelter is NO KILL. IT IS NOT! Get your story straight.

  35. and @johnlee if you are persona non grata in Baristaville it is because of your nasty postings that the Baristas had to delete.

  36. @Pat you posted “So the moral is don’t send a poor feral cat, one with FELV, a black cat, or an elderly cat to the Montclair Shelter as their lives aren’t safe there.”

    Check out the photos on the Baristanet photostream to see all the feral, FELV, black, elderly and even FIV+ cats that are living a safe life as they await adoption at the Montclair Animal Shelter.

  37. @johnlee your claims about proof are disingenuous. There have been no numbers from the shelter. A member of the Montclair Town Council has said so here on Baristanet.

    An OPRA request for numbers was met with total resistance from the shelter. I personally was told by shelter workers that Black Cats were at risk and the volunteer manual talks about the euthanasia of FIV and FELV cats.

    The shelter does not bother to bring anuimals to events on a regular basis. Oh yes I know they did something for Valentine’s Day, did something in upsate NY and had this party for petfinder – that doesn’t override the fact that there is limited to NO OUTREACH to the community.

    Your photos, although lovely don’t tell the community what their money is being spent on. Your claim that the shelter is NO KILL has been proven wrong.

    Why doesn’t the shelter document how many animals have been taken in, how many adopted, how many euthanized, how many refused admitance. All other shelters that I know of document all of this to the state of NJ.

    I also uncovered that MAS is not listed on it’s website by the State of NJ as a licensed facility. Is MAS a licensed facility?

  38. or the Baristas can delete the lies she is posting regarding animal abuse, neglect, and killing at the shelter; comments are one thing, posting filth like that is another

  39. @johnlee The bottom line is that there is NO Documentation in terms of numbers coming from the shelter. This is something that it is impossible to call a lie.

    No numbers for the Montclair Town Council. No numbers for the Montclair community that foots the bill.

  40. The battle of the Titans continues…

    May I suggest “did too…did not…did too…did not…did too times a million…”

  41. maybe the shelter can just agree to some form of transparency. This is a publically funded institution and it owes the public anaccounting.

    You’ll notice that I have not belittled Mr. Lee or the volunteers as I truly beleive that their hearts are in the right place.

  42. Saying “THIS SHELTER IS MONTCLAIR’S DIRTY LITTLE SECRET” is not belittling the people who work there?

    You can’t claim the high road and tromp around the muck at the same time…

  43. RoC would you rather I repeat the stories that I have heard? I’m asking for the numbers from the shelter and they aren’t to be found anywhere.

    Don’t YOU want to know want you’re paying for or are you looking for a full blown, pens at the ready, knock down, take no prisoners, full on battle? You may get it from Mr. Lee who has had remarks redacted by the Baristas but not from me.

    In information presented to the Montclair town Council in May 2010

    “Future events in planning stages…
    • PetCo Adoption Days
    • Montclair Farmers’ Market”

    it also says
    “Continue strict adherence to Asimolar Accords principles for benchmarking
    practices and statistics reporting”

    If the Asimolar Accords are being followed and the statistic are there why not report them to the Montclair Town Council or release tyhem when OPRA requests are filed? An aside- it doesn’t take over a year to plan Petco adoption days and adoption days at the Montclair Farmer’s Market. Please note that the shelter is not even open when the Farmers Market is in session.

  44. Yes @johnlee that’s what I say. Why has the shelter not released any numbers for the last year?

Comments are closed.