Operation: Take Back the Woods '05 Update
Hunter tree stands and bait stations continue to be compromised during the state sanctioned black bear slaughter. Bear defenders were heavily concentrated in New Jersey's Waywayanda State Park. One of our teams was stationed in an area that was being heavily patrolled by both Bear Defenders and Wounded Bear Rescue Teams. Patrols spotted many bears, but heard very few gun shots. Bears seemed passive and not at all dangerous.
Breaking News: four bear defenders were arrested as a result of a sting operation In Waywayanda State Park, this morning. Following is a statement issued by NJARA and the BEAR Group:
"This morning, four bear activists fell victim to a sting operation orchestrated by two hunters they had encountered in the woods yesterday, as well as park rangers and Division of Fish and Wildlife staff. These peaceful, nonviolent people were only trying to rescue wounded bears while documenting the hunt on videotape. Yesterday, these same two hunters shot a bear within close proximity to these activists. The rescuers followed the blood trail, but the bear was dead.
The hunters cut the bear open, discarded her entrails, and hauled her body out of the woods. They left behind the bear's heart, clearly visible against the white snow. These activists discovered the bloody entrails of one of their bear neighbors.
Today, the bear rescuers were engaged by those same two hunters, along with an additional hunter who was wearing a ski mask. They said they were from South Jersey and were hunting practically in the backyard of one of the activists, who they called by name and obviously recognized.
The hunters were taunting the activists, using racial slurs, but at no point did the activists restrict the movement of these hunters or interfere with their ability to hunt. In fact, the activists were walking away from the hunters when they heard someone shout out, "Clear the area!" They were frightened for their lives because they had no idea that the police, park rangers, and Division of Fish and Wildlife staff were there. Once they realized they were officers, the activists were calmly escorted out of the woods.
Later, they discovered the hunter wearing the ski mask was a park ranger."
Check out the WAR website for daily reports coming in from the field and for pictures both of gentle NJ bears and before and after shots of hunter tree stands, submitted to us anonymously by bear defenders. In view of what happened at Waywayanda this morning, it is now more important than ever to get bear defenders out into the field. If having activists out there wasn't effective, they never would have attempted that sting operation. So, lets head for the NJ woods Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
If anyone is willing to drive from New York City, please contact us immediately at: 646-267-9934 or e-mail: [email protected]
For more information about what you can do to defend NJ Bears, please check out the WAR Bulletin Board "Operation: Take Back the Woods '05" at: http://war.arforum.org/
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