Property Owners Sue Feds Over Camera-Equipped Bears

( – A couple in Connecticut has reportedly sued the federal government for connecting surveillance cameras to bears to spy on the property owners.

Mark and Carol Brault are a married couple who own property in Hartland, Connecticut. The Braults have accused the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, abbreviated as Connecticut DEEP, of attaching a camera to a black bear that frequents their property. By using the bear as a means of spying on the property, the Brautls accuse DEEP of violating their Fourth Amendment rights.

The camera-strapped bear incident followed a lawsuit against Mark Brault, filed in 2020 by the city of Hartland, which accused Mr. Brault of violating a city ordinance against feeding bears.

The Brault couple claimed that sending the bear with a camera strapped to it was the equivalent of sending a surveillance robot and that the government could not do such a thing without a warrant. Convinced of the scheme, the Braults have stated that they do not want “money” or “legal fees” and that their only request is for an “injunction hearing” with hopes of compelling the local federal government to stop.

Local media in Connecticut, however, contested the Brault claim by explaining that it is common practice for environmental agencies to put GPS location devices, other bio-monitoring devices, and sometimes cameras on wildlife. Media analysts disputed the likelihood that a federal agency would invest time or money into conducting espionage with a wild bear. This, the analysts reasoned, would be “nearly impossible” to control the outcome of releasing a wild bear to spy.

Media analysts have reported, however, that there have been allegations and speculation that the Russian Federation has used a “beluga whale” to carry out surveillance. The alleged “spy whale” was reportedly spotted in Swedish waters.

The analysts who believed the beluga whale was a “Russian spy” reasoned that the white beluga, who is friendly and playful, was trained by the Russian military. The speculation reportedly started after fishermen in Norway saw the whale wearing a harness. The harness had a seal on it that linked its manufacturing back to St. Petersburg, Russia. The harness also reportedly had “GoPro” camera mounts attached to it.

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