May 25. 2017 11:08AM

Petition launched to save mother bear, cubs to be euthanized for bothering Hanover homeowner

Union Leader Correspondent

An online petition on seeks to save a family of bears that has become a safety concern in Hanover. 

Reader Poll

  • Should a family of four troublesome bears in Hanover be put down or moved to a safer location?
  • Bears being bears, let them live
  • 77%
  • These bears are trouble, put them down
  • 18%
  • Ambivalent
  • 5%
  • Total Votes: 1056

HANOVER — An online petition has been started to protest the state Fish and Game Department’s plans to euthanize a mother bear and her cubs, which recently entered a home.

Started by Nicole Cantlin of Enfield, the petition had 2,322 signatures as of Thursday morning.

“There is a mother bear and her cubs roaming around Hanover, NH. The Department of Fish and Game has stated that there are no other options but to euthanize these animals. The bears have been searching for food and somehow made their way into a home. These bears are not looking to harm anyone, they are only looking for food. Our hopes in making this petition is that The Department of Fish and Game will look at other options such as relocating or putting them into a wildlife sanctuary,” the petition reads.

In March, town officials warned residents about a family of black bears that had become too comfortable in a neighborhood near the Dartmouth Green.

Fish and Game’s lead bear biologist, Andrew Timmins, said in March that residents needed to learn how to co-exist with the bears.

Though Fish and Game has been asked to relocate the bears, Timmins said in March that other bears would simply replace the current family if bear enticements in the neighborhood were not removed.

Bears have been a problem in Hanover for five years, Timmins said. With the cubs born in February 2015, this particular bear family has been active for two years, he said.

According to Timmins, the neighborhood has supplied the bears with an easy source of food by leaving out birdfeeders year-round. Birdfeeders should be brought in around April 1 or sooner if it has been a mild winter.

Residents also have been putting unsecured garbage outside for the bears to eat and Timmins suggested bear-proof dumpsters for the neighborhood.

Petitioners, however, said the bears should not suffer because of human error.

“These bears should not be euthanized due to the actions of humans,” said one petitioner, Holly West of Boston.