Residents of Ringwood are furious to learn that four bear cubs were killed in the area. For a while, Ringwood, New Jersey residents have been enjoying watching the mama bear and her four cubs. Everyone took pictures when they saw them and got no aggression from the mother. The video provided by one of the residents showed the mama black bear with her cubs. The father and son walked through the woods near the animals without any incident.
On Monday, a hiker spotted three dead bears at Valley Road. The hiker contacted New Jersey Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officers. When they arrived, they found a fourth dead cub. After doing their investigation, they found the culprit, Matthew Ligus. The 22-year-old was issued several summonses, including;
-Hunting without a license
-Hunting bears during closed season
-Using illegal weapon and ammunition
Ligus faces over $5,000 in fines if convicted of all the charges.
A Ringwood resident, Amber Vonzweh, stated that “Pretty much everyone in town was upset.” Another resident, Kim Visser, thinks Matthew Ligus should get in trouble for killing four cubs. She also said, “I hear he baited them and then shot them.” The New Jersey Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officers did not release a statement about the details of the deaths. All four bear cubs were shot and killed.
The incident happened just a day after New Jersey reinstated the state’s black bear hunt. While controversial, they believe it’s the best way to control the bear population. The bear hunt starts on December 5th and ends on the 10th.
People like Jeff Tittel still believe in non-lethal black bear management and will continue to advocate for it. Do you agree? What should be the punishment for someone that kills four cubs?