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New Bill Sanctions the Hunting of Hibernating Bears and Wolves in Their Dens

posted May 18, 2017, 8:06 AM by chloe owens

4/11/17, by Raffaella Ciccarelli, Herald Sun

New bill sanctions the hunting of hibernating bears and wolves in their dens

THANKS to a new bill signed off by President Donald Trump on Monday, the winter months are about to get a lot more dangerous for bears and wolves in Alaska. It is now legal for Alaskan hunters to shoot hibernating bears, along with wolves while they’re in their dens with cubs. It also allows the use of aircraft to hunt the animals down. The new law overturns Obama-era regulations that outlawed these tactics — along with trapping via wire snares and using food to lure bears out to be shot at point-blank range. More than 30 million hectares of federally protected national reserves across Alaska are affected by the legislation… During hibernation, as bears’ oxygen consumption, metabolic rate, heart rate and blood flow drops — the gigantic mammals become slow to wake and run away. It is here, they’re at their most vulnerable… After state representatives first approved the bill last month, Wayne Pacelle, chief executive of the Humane Society, said in a statement: “What the House did today should shock the conscience of every animal lover in America,” “If the Senate and President concur, we’ll see wolf families killed in their dens [and] bears chased down by planes.” However, the man who introduced the measure — Ronald D Young, Republican Congressman for Alaska — argued that it is the state’s right to control predators.