CONCORD, N.H. (CBS) — New Hampshire wildlife experts are looking to eliminate chocolate as bait after four bears died at a bait site in September 2014 from a chocolate overdose.
Chocolate is often used by hunters to lure bears. For many animals, including bears, a natural chemical found in chocolate called theobromine is fatal in large doses.
The four bears — two female adults and two cubs — died of heart failure due to toxic levels of theobromine in their system, Andrew Timmins, a Bear Project Leader with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department confirmed to WBZ-TV Friday.
“Not all animals that eat chocolate will automatically die, but it is clearly evident that wild animals can consume enough chocolate to reach a lethal dose,” Timmins said.
Since the agency is unable to control how much a bear eats at a bait site, “we feel the most efficient, effective and enforceable way to eliminate the risk of chocolate poisoning of bear and other wildlife is to remove chocolate from the woods,” Timmins said.
The agency plans to submit a formal proposal in the coming weeks, Timmins said.