Re: “Orphaned bear cubs raised in Lynnwood get freedom, ‘a second shot at life’ ” [May 17, Environment]:

The successful rescue of two black bear cubs made for a wonderful story. But how many cubs orphaned by hunters during the ongoing spring black bear special permit hunting season will share the same reprieve?

Every spring, black bears emerge from their dens looking for food to nourish themselves and their newborn cubs. If a mother bear is killed during this hunt, her cubs are orphaned and do not survive. Why does Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife allow a hunt during such a vulnerable time?

Wildlife officials claim it is to manage timber damage. In truth the spring hunts solely provide more opportunity for hunters to kill bears at a time when it is not only entirely unnecessary, but also cruel.

It’s time for the department to take a deep look at why this hunt is still allowed. Wildlife officials should properly protect the state’s black bears for all Washingtonians — not turn them into targets for the few who choose to hunt these animals in the spring.

Sophia Ressler, Seattle, Washington wildlife attorney, the Center for Biological Diversity