MAHWAH, N.J. — An advocacy group said it is holding a memorial service on Sunday, Oct. 11, for Clara, an "aggressive" bear euthanized by state authorities after encounters with hikers over the past month.
Reverend Dr. Howard W. Whitaker of Saint Thomas Church in Vernon will conduct the 4 p.m. service for Clara, whom members of Bear Education and Resource (BEAR) named Cornelius before her gender became known.
With Ramapo State Park still closed because of bear encounters, the memorial service will be held at Wawayanda State Park, near the boat house, at 885 Warwick Turnpike in Highland Lakes.
It coincides with the Feast Day of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals.
Clara was trapped and euthanized on Monday to protect the public, state officials said. According to Ramapough Conservancy, she was between 1½-2½ years old, weighed 115 pounds and could have lived another 28 years.
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