Woman sentenced to jail for freeing crying bear cub from trap in New Jersey

Woman sentenced to jail for freeing crying bear cub from trap in New Jersey

A judge sentenced a woman to 15 days in jail for freeing a crying cub from a bear trap.

Municipal Court Judge James Devine sentenced Catherine McCartney, 50, on Thursday, NJ.com reported. McCartney, who has a record of arrests related to bear hunt protests, pleaded guilty to obstructing “the administration of law and the prevention of the lawful taking of wildlife”.

McCartney, a dedicated animal rights activist, plans to appeal the sentence, relating to the incident in in Vernon, New Jersey.

In a statement she read in court, McCartney said she did not regret her decision in rescuing the bear cub from the painful trap.

“These animals are innocent and so I made the moral decision to let the bear go so he could run back to his mother, and it was the right thing to do,” she said.

The incident in question took place in October in a condominium complex. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection said it installed two culvert traps inside the complex campus to capture a bear—known as “Momma Bear” by activists—following two incidents with residents. None of these incidents resulted in injury.


Mark Nagelhout, who helped McCartney free the cub, also plead guilty to the same charges. However, he did not receive a jail sentence since this was his first offence.

Both defendants were also fined $1,316.


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