Warren County man claims a bear killed his chickens; caused thousands in property damage
A man in Warren County says that a bear is responsible for killing a dozen of his chickens.
Matthew Donovan, of Blairstown, says that the bear went on a rampage in his backyard a few days ago, killing the chickens and causing thousands of dollars of property damage.
He says that he is concerned that this could be an ongoing thing now Gov. Phil Murphy has canceled the New Jersey black bear hunt.
Donovan says that he doesn’t necessarily want to see bears killed, but he says that he is concerned about what an increased bear population can do. He has lived in the area for 10 years.
“And we never had a bear problem - bears going after our chickens. I’ve seen many bears, but to think a bear would be that aggressive – what’s going to stop them from going after someone’s dog or cats or even a person?” he asks.
A woman in Sparta was injured fighting off a bear this past January. There were two attacks over a couple of weeks and two dogs died.
"If we don't reduce the population we're gonna continue to see these problems,” says Phillip Brodhecker.
Brodhecker served 10 years on the Division of Fish and Wildlife. He says the division firmly believes there needs to be a hunt to manage the bear population.
“Because there’s so many bears, they’re competing for food. They’re going to have to come in to the farms and communities,” Brodhecker says.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection says that wildlife officials use a number of nonlethal strategies to reduce the number of bear interactions with people.
A spokesperson for the DEP says that the agency is “enhancing and expanding these nonlethal management methods with a dedicated $1.5 million in the DEP’s FY22 budget.”