Expert Agrees With CT Senators on Killing Bears But Says ‘It’s Fuzzy’
A new Connecticut law will allow for residents to kill black bears if they feel they are in danger.
According to FOX 61, "The state senate voted 31 to 3 Thursday evening in favor of the bill. It would allow for the killing of bears if a person or a pet was in danger and for farmers to receive permits to kill bears that pose a threat to their crops or livestock."
On Friday (5/19/23) we asked our animal expert Jen the Zookeeper Kotkin to join us on the I-95 Morning Show and get her opinion on the law. This is a transcript of that conversation.
The CT Senate voted in favor of a bill that would allow for bears to be killed if folks feel that they are in danger, their kids are in danger, their animals are in danger, what do you think?
"It's going to be a fine line of he said, she said. I do believe that this law is necessary, in my own personal opinion I think DEEP is trying to do what's best for the animal and to protect the people I think it's a good compromise between the two. It's just to protect the people if they feel like the animal is a nuisance, it's good for farmers if they feel like their livestock is being threatened of their bees actually if people have bees on their property and they feel like the bears are trying to steal their honey. It's a good way for people to feel safe but on the flip side just like we've seen, there are people out there that quote, unquote feel like they are threatened and go around shooting bears. It will be interesting here, it's a very fuzzy area."
The fuzzy area she's referring to is the same one that the bill's opponents are concerned with. According to FOX, State senator Christine Cohen, a Democrat who represents the 12th district, voted against it and said:
"I am concerned that the bill is a little bit too broad."
Do you feel like there is something we could have done differently, years ago where we wouldn't have been in this position?
"I don't, I really don't because population is the number one reason why animals become endangered. it's just human encroachment and I don't think we could have done anything differently because this was bound to happen. It's just a matter of how we're going to live with them now."
UPDATE: Jen saw the published report and sent me the following message, I thought it was fair to her that I show it to you:
"Came out great! In the future, if I could make make a request: please don’t say I agree with killing anything ;-) perhaps just say ‘expert chimes in with her opinion?"
The headline is a bit sensational and I know how much she loves wildlife so now you have a clearer picture of what a lovely and passionate person we are dealing with.
Listen to our entire discussion with Jen below. We also discussed the tragic auto accidents that killed two moose this week in CT and the majesty of the killer whale.
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More on Jen the Zookeeper:
Jen has been immersed in the conservation & science education field for over 30 years. While working as Director of Animal Care for The New Canaan Nature Center in Connecticut, she was responsible for the care of native wildlife and birds of prey, while teaching the public about the roles of these wild neighbors. While with the Bronx Zoo and Los Angeles Zoo, Jen’s main priority was the care of exotic hoofstock, again while teaching the public about the delicate balance of humans & habitats. While working with a wildlife sanctuary in Half Moon Bay, CA, Jen played a major role in the wildlife training and handling of some 50 exotic species. Her major focus was creating curriculum for a variety of programs including at-risk and foster youth programming. These programs encompassed helping fragile children gain a sense of trust and worth while developing a healing relationship with the non releasable wildlife at the sanctuary.
Currently, Jen is the owner and sole proprietor of Jen Kotkin Pet Care, providing pet care as well as mental and physical exercise & stimulation for dogs, cats, horses, birds and more. Jen continues to create a variety of programs catered to the needs of many organizations. Her passion for teaching about the natural world to those around her is important, and hopes to ignite this spark for others, just as it did for her!