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Protesters Turn Out For Final Day Of NJ’s Black Bear Hunt

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Black Bear (file / credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Black Bear (file / credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Protesters turned out on the final day of New Jersey’s six-day black bear hunt.

Demonstrators gathered on Route 23 in Franklin.

“It’s nothing but a trophy hunt where hunters go in the woods and kill our beautiful black bear all for rugs trophies and wall mounts,” said Angi Metler of the Bear Education And Resource Group.

“There are too many bears in northwestern New Jersey. There are more bears in this part of the state than any other part of the country,” said Larry Ragonese of the New Jersey DEP.

As of Friday night, 410 bears have been harvested during the hunt’s first five days.

The New York Post says former French actress and well know animal activist Brigitte Bardot has chimed in. She sent a letter to Gov. Chris Christie asking that the hunt be called off.

Animal activists have asked the state Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling that restricts the number of protesters allowed at the Franklin bear check station in Sussex County. The state says the limit is needed for the protesters’ safety.

A ruling in state superior court ruled Monday says up to 25 people can demonstrate at the Franklin bear check station in Sussex County between noon and 4 p.m. each day.

A greater number were being allowed to demonstrate at two other weigh stations. Critics of the hunt had been pushing for the Franklin station permit as it is a high-visibility site.

Nearly 600 bears were killed in last year’s hunt.

State officials say the hunt was necessary to reduce the number of bears, which have been increasingly finding their way into residential neighborhoods.

Is the hunt necessary to cull the bear population? Sound off in our comments section below…

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Demonstrators gathered on route 23 in franklin to protest what they call nothing but animal cruelty.

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