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Unhunted Bears are More Cannibalistic


After a six-year study of black bear populations in northern Ontario, a significant difference has been documented in the rates of cannibalism between hunted and unhunted bears. (International Bear News, Feb. 1997, Vol 6, No. 1, p. 12) Cannibalism has been observed five to 10 times more frequently in the adjacent non-hunted population than in hunted areas. The increased cannibalism involves cubs, juvenile and adult female victims, not just cubs. The perpetrators seem to be the large males that are usually the target of sport hunters in hunting areas. These studies of adjacent populations of bear document that trophy hunting of bears actually increases the stability of the bear population and its numbers. It conforms with recent studies of the unhunted Denali brown bear population in Alaska where the surviving cub population has been found to be substantially less than in the hunted areas.


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