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Conn. Wildlife Officials Mull Bear Hunt Lottery

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(Photo credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut wildlife officials are drafting plans for a bear hunt lottery that would decide who gets to kill a limited number of bears.

Hunters say a lottery would raise money for the state and keep bears from rooting through trash cans, bird feeders and other food sources.

Animal rights activists say hunts are not necessary if discarded food is secured by bear-proofing trash cans, installing electrical fencing around beehives and making sure bird feeders are out of reach.

The Hartford Courant reports that Connecticut officials say bear hunting and a lottery are not imminent. Bill Hyatt, chief of the wildlife division of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, says a lottery could be useful if officials eventually approve bear hunts.

He said all other Northeastern states except Delaware and Rhode Island permit bear hunts.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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