In an age dominated by Internet celebrity, hashtag-activism and 24-hour fads, Save Jerseyans, it should surprise no one that our great state’s current obsession isn’t with the most consequential presidential election in a generation, domestic ISIS infiltration or oppressive taxation.
Nope. Pedals the Black Bear.
Who? Or what?
Pedals may (or may not) have been among the 500+ bears harvested during this year’s annual statewide black bear hunt. No one can say for sure. The bear had a devoted following in and around Vernon, New Jersey after suspected injuries to his front paws compelled him to walk on his hind legs to the delight of people who live on YouTube.
Now it’s been alleged that he’s dead; DEP officials can’t confirm it because there isn’t any independent DNA tracking data for the beast.
Ready to march? Hold up. A little background is illustrative. Believe it or not, densely-populated New Jersey boasts the largest number of bears per square mile of any jurisdiction in North America. They’re in all 21 counties and expanding their territory all of the time:
The hunt itself dates back to 2010 when, responding to the surging bear population, Trenton permitted hunters to kill a limited number of the species over a set number of days. Non-lethal popular control methods were researched and determined to be unfeasible. The hunt consequently moved ahead.
And for good reason! Pedals isn’t a magical, harmless, talking creature right out of an animated Disney classic. The 2014 death of a Rutgers student and 2015 mauling of a boy scout troop leader stand as admittedly extreme examples, black bears remain dangerous creatures that become aggressive with regularized human contact and can cause property damage (or worse) when overpopulation drives the sizable mammals into close proximity with suburban populations. Livestock, crops, and trash can are all fair but expensive game for these creatures that, when fully grown, can weigh hundreds of pounds.
“While many have developed an emotional attachment to the upright bear, it is important to recognize that all black bears are wildlife,” a DEP spokesman told The New York Times. “They are not pets. They are capable of doing damage, even in a compromised state.”
So the bear hunt is both a necessary and humane population control method.
Try explaining any of that to a digital lynch mob. Over the past 24 hours, Enviro-freaks hit social media to threaten the life of a man who, as it turns out, was nowhere near the alleged scene of Pedals’s demise. Violence against humans? Okay. Animals? Never! Got it. That’s not crazy or hypocritical or anything….
Democrat legislators are nevertheless ready to pander to Pedals partisans; they’re forging ahead with a bill to end the hunt once and for all and, as you could’ve guessed, the legislation is named after the damn bear.
What’s next? #BearLivesMatter?
Here’s another stat: There will soon be more black bears than human taxpayers in this state if Trenton politicians don’t improve New Jersey’s tax climate.
Our state’s finances are a hot mess. The high cost of living is driving poverty rates through the roof. The Trenton Cartel just raised taxes on gasoline and, in so doing, set in motion significant inflationary forces. Barely a day passes without a new indictment or corruption trial.
It’s your own fault if you let these jokers get away with this wag-the-bear nonsense, folks.
Call me crazy, but I think we deserve a government that prioritizes humans, especially those who labor on their own two legs every day without fanfare, in order to pay for all of the other humans. Cruelty to animals is one thing. Wasting valuable time to fret over the fate of a wild animal while REAL PEOPLE suffer is unconscionable.
You’ve got bigger problems, New Jersey. Get over it. Prioritize! Or you can’t complain when your elected representatives follow your lead and don’t.