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NATIVE CRITTERS



Published: Fri, January 7, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



NATIVE CRITTERS

On a collision course

Returning: Many birds and animals wiped out of their historical haunts have been reintroduced with great success: There are more than 3,000 black bears in New Jersey, up from 100, and 30 gray wolves released a decade ago in the Rocky Mountains have multiplied to hundreds of animals.

Complaints: But that leads to complaints from growing human populations. Farmers and ranchers complain about wolves stalking livestock, suburbanites fear bears rummaging in trash and killing pets.

Otters: The latest development is a proposal by Ohio wildlife officials to allow limited trapping of river otters, which are up to about 4,300 fish-eating animals in the state from 123 released in the 1980s and early '90s.

Proposal: Ohio's otter season would run Dec. 26 to Feb. 28, 2006, in 43 counties. Twelve counties would permit trappers to kill one otter apiece. The other 21 counties would have a three-animal limit. Trappers would be required to take the pelts and skinned carcasses to a state wildlife inspector within three days.




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