Stoddard Couple Charged with Bear Feeding.

Stoddard Couple Charged with Intentionally Feeding Bears.

Stoddard Couple Charged with Intentionally Feeding Bears

State claims it may lead to injuries, property damage or public nuisances.

STODDARD, NH - After receiving numerous reports of nuisance bears in the area of Shedd Hill Road in Stoddard, N.H. Fish and Game Conservation Officers have charged Richard Whitney, 71, and Sandra Sherman, 69, with the intentional feeding of bears. A New Hampshire law enacted in 2006 prohibits bear feeding because such activity may result in injuries, damage to property, or public nuisances.

Conservation Officers began receiving reports of bear feeding at this location in 2011. At that time, officers sent a letter to Mr. Whitney informing him about the law and requesting that he stop the feeding activity.

In 2013-2014, complaints of unnatural numbers of bears in the area of the Whitney/Sherman residence were reported to Fish and Game. A Conservation Officer went to speak with Whitney in the spring of 2014. The officer observed four bears in the general vicinity of the residence, including one feeding on a large pile of sunflower seeds at the front door. Mr. Whitney was charged at that time and pled guilty in Keene District Court.

This spring (2017) the anonymous complaints began to come in once again, alleging that Whitney and Sherman were feeding bears. Conservation Officers investigated, and even observed Sherman feeding a bear by hand at their residence in April. As they attempted to make contact with Whitney and Sherman, Conservation Officers observed eight to ten bears in the yard.

Many of the anonymous complaints are from people who reportedly live near Whitney and Sherman. The complaints outline a constant presence of bears in the neighborhood, and the complainants are upset that they cannot enjoy the neighborhood or even their own backyards.

"In addition to conditioning the bears to see human residences as a place to find food, Whitney and Sherman are creating an uncomfortable and potentially unsafe situation for their neighbors. The public’s safety is at risk when bears lose their fear of humans. In addition, disregard for the law cannot be tolerated."

Posted 6/17/17


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