Professor Gets 10-Day Sentence For Disrupting Bear Hunt

TRENTON (AP) -

A City College of New York professor was sentenced Thursday to 10 days in prison for protesting New Jersey’s bear hunt.

Psychology professor Bill Crain, 72, of Dutchess County, N.Y., will serve his time beginning Jan. 6, when the school is in winter recess. He was convicted for refusing to return to an area set up for protesters when he walked along a road near a weigh station in Fredon, where hunters were bringing their bears in October. It was his seventh arrest.

“Bears, like humans, have families, emotions and individual personalities. Like us, each bear wants to live,” Crain told Municipal Court Judge James Devine. “These defenseless animals need our help.”

The hunt ended Saturday with a record number of 623 bears killed. The previous record was 592, in 2010.

The annual bear hunt helps reduce the population and minimizes the threat to humans. Animal rights’ groups and lawmakers say the hunt causes more problems and is inhumane.

On Saturday, former Democratic Sen. Robert Torricelli joined the protesters to denounce the hunt. Outside a weigh station in northern New Jersey, he called the killings “unforgiveable.”

Opponents also are upset with the apparent death of a wild bear, given the name Pedals by its fans, that walked upright and that officials believe was killed in October.