West Milford Man Cited for Shooting Bear
(03/83) TRENTON The Department
of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Division of Fish and
Wildlife today cited a West Milford Township man for unlawfully
shooting a black bear that entered his yard last week.
As a result of an investigation that included
a review of necropsy reports, the DEP cited Patrick P. Flynn
Jr. of North Kushaqua Trail in West Milford for unlawfully
injuring a black bear. The summons carries a minimum fine
of $100 and a maximum fine of $300.
Flynn shot and wounded the 400-pound, male
black bear on the evening of June 5. The following morning,
division officers located the bear 400 yards from the house.
They were forced to euthanize the animal due to its injuries.
Although Flynn indicated at the time that
he shot the bear in self-defense, the division's necropsy
report indicated otherwise. The bear was shot in the rear
at a range of about 15 yards, indicating it was retreating
when Flynn pulled the trigger.
"Communities need to understand that
shooting bears is unlawful," said DEP Commissioner
Bradley M. Campbell. "While there may be circumstances
in which an immediate threat to safety would excuse a killing,
that justification was not presented by the facts in this
Residents who encounter a bear on their
property should call police and not confront the animal.
The DEP has trained hundreds of local police officers to
respond to bear incidents.
Making loud noises, such as banging pans
together, will usually get a bear to leave the area. Keeping
garbage, pet foods and bird feeders secured from bears can
reduce the number of problem incidents in a neighborhood.
West Milford Municipal Court is scheduled
to hear the case Tuesday, July 1.