HANOVER, N.H. (CBS) – A family of New Hampshire bears will get to stay in the wild, thanks in part to a resident’s online petition.
A mother bear and her cubs have been roaming a Hanover neighborhood in recent weeks, prompting Fish and Game officials to make the decision to capture and euthanize the animals.
Nicole Cantin, who lives in nearby Enfield, decided to create an online petition asking Fish and Game to instead relocate the bears.
“It just really upset me because I felt like it wasn’t the bears’ fault,” Cantin told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens. “It was the people’s fault for not listening and bringing their trash in.”
She hoped for 100 signatures. Instead, her petition was signed nearly 10,000 times.
“I’m just completely in awe,” said Cantin. “It just completely blew up.”
It appears that Cantin’s efforts paid off. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu halted plans to euthanize the family of bears.
“I am glad that we have been able to find a safe and humane option for these bears and I encourage residents to work with their local town officials to enact ordinances that could help avoid situations like this in the future,” Sununu said in a statement.
Beginning Friday, Fish and Game employees will begin efforts to find and relocate the bears.
“As of right now, we’ve pretty much saved the bears,” said Cantin.
“I wish I could personally thank every person (who signed the petition)… Everybody that got the word out is what really helped.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports