Move for teddy bears? Some want Louisiana black bear, inspiration for toy, off threatened list

Federal and Louisiana officials say it's time to get the animal that inspired teddy bears off the list of protected species.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official Steve Guertin says his agency is making a formal proposal to remove the Louisiana black bear from the list of threatened species.

Removal from the list would let hunters kill at least a few of the bears that inspired plush "Teddy's bears" after President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot a tied-up animal for a hunt trophy in 1902.

The process of delisting the bear could take a year if nobody fights it.

Local Sierra Club Chairman Harold Schoeffler, whose legal action prompted the listing, says he will take it to court.

Louisiana black bears once ranged throughout Louisiana, southern Mississippi and eastern Texas. Now they're found in four areas in Louisiana.