Letter: Bear-poaching protest planned at courthouse

To the Editors:

As most of you know, two bears allegedly were killed by bow and arrow on Sept. 16, by Antonio Lio of Wilton, aided by Daniel Moran of Norwalk. A neighbor’s tip brought DEEP, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, to the scene. Lio and Moran were caught leaving the woods carrying bearskin and severed heads and paws on their person and were arrested.

Lio was charged with 4th degree negligent hunting and illegal taking of black bear. Moran was charged with conspiracy to commit illegal taking of black bear.

They were ordered to appear for court hearing on Thursday, Sept. 28.

Marguerite Tucker O'Connor, Jill Alibrandi and I have been coordinating our efforts on publicity and for a protest rally we are planning to have on Thursday at the courthouse. We have been working with several organizations, like HSUS, the Humane Society of the United States, Connecticut Division. The Connecticut director, Annie Hornish, has had decades of experience that she is sharing with us.

Both Jill and I have been active animal rights advocates for years and Marguerite has been working very hard on the details of this protest.

We will be carrying appropriate signage, approved by HSUS.

The courts tend to give poachers a slap on the wrist and send them on their way, maybe with a small fine. Our message is to give them a penalty fitting the crime: a substantial fine of $10,000, jail time and community service.  Another message is to keep the current ruling of no bear hunting in Connecticut. There have been strong forces trying to overturn this ruling and they will persist next year.

This killing has opened up questions about our current town hunting laws, in particular, hunting on private property (without notice to bordering homeowners) and the potential danger this brings to our children and our pets.

I hope you will join us on Thursday, Sept. 28, for our protest rally at the Norwalk Superior Court, 17 Belden Hill, Norwalk. We will be there at 9:30. I suggest as many as possible show up at 10 a.m., but later is fine, too. It will be good for all those going into the courthouse for hearings to see us there.

Marguerite will try to relay on FB 411/412 an accurate time of this hearing, but that may not be possible as the docket is not released until the night before or day of hearing.

Please park your cars in the indoor parking at the mall, located on same street, Belden Avenue.

See Jill, Marguerite or me to receive your sign to carry and our coordinated strategy/message. Please be respectful at all times.

All can feel free to PM Jill, Marguerite or myself with any questions.

Hope to see you all there!

Eleanor Sasso

Wilton, Sept. 25