Baton Rouge, LA (KPEL News) - The Louisiana Wildlife Commission is considering a black “Teddy” bear hunting season to cull the growing population. 

It’s referred to as the “Teddy” bear because, in 1902, President Teddy Roosevelt refused to shoot one when he was out with a hunting party. The animal was listed on the endangered list until 2016, and latest studies indicate the Louisiana black bear population has surpassed 1200. 

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Wildlife biologist John Hanks presented data during the October commission meeting about the black bear population. Hanks told the commission that hair snares are used to track the bears movements and patterns. Data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service indicates that the largest populations of black bear dwell in the Tensas National Wildlife Refuge, the Upper Atchafalaya Basin and connecting corridors. 

YouTube via Louisiana Wildlife Commission
YouTube via Louisiana Wildlife Commission

Meeting attendees told stories of farmers and landowners having their property and crops destroyed by black bear. Another person explained that an inordinate number of bears killed on the road have been collected by state officials responsible for the removal of animal debris. 

Senator Stewart Cathey of Monroe attended the October 5th meeting and thanked the commission for considering the idea. Cathey planned to introduce legislation in the last session to address the increasing bear population but deferred to the commission. Representatives of the Safari Club International also expressed appreciation for the commission’s consideration during the meeting. 

The Wildlife Commission’s November meeting is scheduled for November 2nd. The agenda for that meeting isn’t yet available. 

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