Monday, 26 October 2015

EXCLUSIVE: Fury as bear hunt begins – with THOUSANDS hoping to kill innocent bruins

A CRUEL bear hunt has gone ahead in the US despite widespread outcry from animal rights activists.

PUBLISHED: 03:00, Sun, Oct 25, 2015 | UPDATED: 05:10, Sun, Oct 25, 2015

The week-long cull – branded a "trophy hunt" by activists – began yesterday in Florida, with a staggering 203 black bears already killed.
Almost 3,800 permits were sold for the hunt to blood-thirsty Americans before the deadline on Friday.

One of the first kills of the hunt went to 49-year-old Bryan Smith, who claimed: "He had a good life and a good death."

Six lactating females have also being killed, according to local media reports – meaning their cubs will starve to death.

The Facebook group Stop the Florida Bear Hunt, set up four months ago, has racked up more than 13,000 likes.

Adam Sugalski, the campaign's director, told the hunt is "undemocratic, unscientific and immoral".

He added: "There is not a bear problem in Florida but a leadership problem.

"If wealthy land developers have their way in Florida we will have no bears or panthers and will be left with the endless strip malls of box stores."

The hunt was approved after officials claimed Florida's black bear population had grown to 3,500 – up from several hundred in the 1970s – and presented a safety hazard.

Those with permits are allowed to use firearms and bows to kill the creatures this week – but unleashed dogs or bait are banned.

Hunting enthusiasts have defended the pro-hunt vote, which was not overturned by Florida governor Rick Scott.

A spokesman for the Sportsmen's Alliance group said hunts are necessary because "there have been so many predators and they're not as controlled as they should be".

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