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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Louisiana black bear could move off threatened-species list

Louisiana black bear could move off threatened-species list

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Federal and Louisiana officials say it's time to get the animal that inspired teddy bears off the list of protected species.

The Louisiana black bear population, once down to fewer than 100, has recovered, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is making a formal proposal to remove the bear from the list of threatened species, Deputy Director Steve Guertin said Wednesday.

State Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham said millions of children "can go to sleep cuddling their teddy bears and be sure that bear will be around for generations to come."

Removal from the list would eventually let hunters kill at least a few of the bears that inspired plush "Teddy's bears" after President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot a tied-up animal for a hunt trophy in 1902.

Delisting takes a year or more.

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