O’Scanlon: Bears Hanging out in Monmouth County on Memorial Day Weekend is not “normal behavior”
Male bear killed in Union Beach on Saturday night. photo by Councilman Charlie Cocuzza
In response to our report this morning that NJ DEP’s Fish and Wildlife Division told Union Beach Police officials that “We don’t come out on weekends” and “that is not our protocol,” when the UBPD asked for their assistance in tranquilizing and relocating the bear that was shot and killed last night, DEP spokesman Bob Considine said, “the notion that F&W biologist don’t work weekends is ridiculous and offensive.”
Considine said that had the Union Beach situation been Category 1, i.e., the bear was a threat to public safety or property, that Fish and Wildlife biologists would have been on the scene. He said that the situation in Union Beach last night was a Category 3…a bear exhibiting normal behavior and not a nuisance or threat to public safety.
Considine said that F&W advised UBPD that they would not be disposing of the carcass over the weekend. The bear’s body is now stored in a locked dumpster on Union Beach Borough property. “Perhaps something got lost in translation,” he said.
The Union Beach Police Department requested the assistance of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife to tranquilize and relocate the male bear that was eventually shot and killed on Saturday night, according to Councilman Charlie Cocuzza.
Cocuzza said that he was on the scene for over four hours with Union Beach Police officers. He stressed that the officers “did everything that was suggested by Fish and Wildlife.”
During a phone interview with Cocuzza this morning, he said that UBPD received a call from a resident reporting the presence of a bear at Dock and 3rd Ave at approximately 9:30 pm on Saturday, according to the source. By 9:50 pm police had spotted the bear and started evacuating the fishing area at the point.
The Middletown bear has not been located by Animal Control or the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife yet, according to the Township Police, but there have been several more sightings reported on facebook throughout the Township. According to social media posts, there may be two bears…a cub and an adult.
@MiddletownBearopened a Twitter account last night. The bear reports that it is just checking out the town and is puzzled why JCP&L wants to build a massive powerline so close to parks, schools and homes. It posted that it was looking for the beach, but got distracted by a ferry in Belford. #wherearethefish. The bear is thinking of hosting a BBQ in Tantum Park this weekend.
Freehold Township- Maria Vaccarella, the Howell woman who was threatened with a $1000 fine and six months in jail for rescuing two baby squirrels, rejected a plea deal of a $35 court costs and a suspended fine that was offered by Township Prosecutor Anthony Vecchio this afternoon.
Vaccarella and her pro-bono attorney, animal rights lawyer Doris Lin, showed up unannounced in Freehold Township Municipal Court to ask Vecchio to dismiss the summons that Fish and Wildlife officials mailed to Vaccarella after they took the squirrels she cared for after they were abandoned by their mother. The case, which was transferred to Freehold from Howell Township because of a conflict, was originally scheduled for January 27th.
Vecchio told MoreMonmouthMusings that he thought the suspended fine and court cost would be a fair way to resolve the case that has received nationwide attention. He said the case would be transferred back to Howell for litigation.
A Howell woman has been issued a $500 summons and faces a potential sentence of six months in jail because she took in two newborn squirrels that had been abandoned by their mother, according to a reports by ABC News in New York and Philadelphia.
TRENTON — The state Department Environmental Protection approved a plan Monday to expand the New Jersey bear hunt, including the addition of new hunting areas and the use of bows and arrows. The December hunt, which has drawn criticism from environmental groups since its inception, will be permitted this year in all of Hunterdon, Morris and… Read the rest of this entry »
BORDENTOWN CITY — State Fish & Wildlife officials are monitoring a manatee that was spotted Tuesday in the Delaware River as photos circulated online of the warm-water creature swimming near Bordentown City. The docile “sea cow” was spotted by a fisherman near the Crosswick Creek in Bordentown on Tuesday around 5:30 p.m. State Division of Fish… Read the rest of this entry »
Loud moans being heard throughout the Grand Tour neighborhood in Highlands lead to the rescue of four giant pet tortoises that would not have survived the coming winter in New Jersey’s climate, according to a report in The Asbury Park Press.
Richard Hines, 41, moved from North Carolina to Highlands in June, bringing his pets with him. Big Blackjack, a 575 pound native of the African archipelago had been Hines pet for 15 years. Three other tortoises ranging in size from 25 to 120 lbs were also rescued.
The Division of Fish and Wildlife filed charges of possession of an exotic species without a permit against Hines.
Welcome to New Jersey Mr. Hines. Hines’ wife Christina told NJ.com that the couple would not have moved here if they had known they couldn’t keep the tortoises which are valued between $2000 and $10,000 on the exotic pet market.
Monmouth SPCA Chief Buddy Amato told NJ.com that the aninmals were malnournished and had holes in their shells filled with fiber glass. He said they are desert animals that the Hines improperly kept in water.