What ever happened to common sense (CS) when dealing with the natural environment and its "wild" residents? Has CS been napping? Has he died? Was he outsourced to China, Mexico or South America? His disappearance is certainly becoming increasingly evident with each recently passing year.
That grand state of New Jersey is rapidly becoming the poster boy for CS's vacancy, and good old New York isn't too far behind. Earlier this month a one-year-old male black bear cub was shot and killed by police a hundred yards from an elementary school where the students were enjoying a picnic. Previously the young boar had cooled off in a backyard wading pool before chewing the plastic pool to shreds and then heading for the school yard, following the scent of food.
Now, mind you, New Jersey's fickle politicians and bureaucrats have historically exhibited bone-headed approaches to managing wildlife for the benefit of both wildlife and residents, as well as the environment. When deer became so plentiful they were hazards to road traffic and destroying not only domestic growth but also the natural growth in the state's ecosystem, thereby impacting many other wildlife species, officials dragged their collective feet in allowing effective but controlled hunting to cull the herds and keep them within densities the habitat would support. Then along comes an explosion in the state's black bear population and density.
Now, northern Jersey is far from wilderness ... it's a checkerboard of cluster developments with a healthy population of residents. In other words, an abundance of dinner bells to mooching bruins. As bear-people incidents sky-rocketed, and bears began to lose their natural fear of people, demands by many residents to "do something" steadily grew from a whisper to a roar. But with animal rights proponents firmly entrenched in the state, opening a hunting season for bear was, to say the least, an unpopular solution. Alternative methods were tried and failed, and the bear problems there are only worsening.