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‘Professional Bear Huggers’ wanted in New Mexico

Bear lovers rejoice: The New Mexico Department of Game and Fisheries is hiring “bear hunting professionals.”

The department posted an adorable job listing on Facebook on Monday, complete with treasured snaps of conservation officers cuddling baby bears.

Unfortunately, a love of bears isn’t the only qualification you’ll need to become a conservation officer. The job posting with the official job title specifies that applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in “biological sciences, police science or law enforcement, natural resource conservation, ecology, or related fields.”

Interested candidates “must have the ability to hike in harsh conditions, have the courage to crawl through a bear den, and have confidence in your co-workers to keep you safe during the process,” the department wrote.

The photos are from a research project in northern New Mexico, according to the Facebook post. They added that they “do not recommend crawling through bear dens” and that “all bears were safely handled under supervision.”

“Not all law enforcement field work is this glamorous, but we would love for you to join the team where you can have the experience of a lifetime,” the department added.

Applications for the next batch of conservation officer trainees are open until March 30, depending on the position.

According to the job listing, the duties include much more than just cuddling. Each conservation officer is responsible for “enforcing game and fishing laws” and also “educating the public about wildlife and wildlife management, conducting wildlife surveys, capturing” problem animals”, investigate wildlife damage to crops and property, assist in the movement of wildlife, and help develop new regulations.

The black bear is New Mexico’s flagship animal. Estimates place the population at around 6,000 bears, according to a publication from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

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