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Fish And Game Approves Chocolate Bear Bait Ban

Jeannette S.
Flicker CC

New Hampshire Fish and Game commissioners have voted unanimously to ban using chocolate as bear bait.

The ban will be phased in beginning September 1st of this year. Hunters will be allowed to use chocolate donuts and pastries this season, in order to use up any supplies of bait they’ve already purchased, but all chocolate will be prohibited in the 2016 season.

Andrew Timmons, Fish and Game’s bear biologist, praised the decision, though he he admits it’s still not clear exactly how much chocolate is fatal. “Not knowing doesn’t mean you ignore it. What not knowing everything means is that you err on the side of being conservative," he said, "We know these materials are toxic to bears and critters, and I think we made the choice for the resource today which is great.”

The proposal stems from an incident last fall when four black bears were found dead at a bait site in the town of Stark. Wildlife officials say the death was from an  overdose of a chemical found in cocoa, known as theobromine. 

Sam Evans-Brown has been working for New Hampshire Public Radio since 2010, when he began as a freelancer. He shifted gears in 2016 and began producing Outside/In, a podcast and radio show about “the natural world and how we use it.” His work has won him several awards, including two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, one national Murrow, and the Overseas Press Club of America's award for best environmental reporting in any medium. He studied Politics and Spanish at Bates College, and before reporting was variously employed as a Spanish teacher, farmer, bicycle mechanic, ski coach, research assistant, a wilderness trip leader and a technical supporter.

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