New Mexico agency looking for 'professional bear huggers'

(Credit: New Mexico Department of Game & Fish)

In Santa Fe, New Mexico, a unique job opportunity has just opened up for animal lovers: professional bear hugger.

The New Mexico Department of Game & Fish announced Monday they will be hiring conservation officers or "professional bear huggers" to patrol the lands and water of the state while enforcing its laws. 

The job description may sound unconventional, but the department said applicants must have the ability to hike in strenuous conditions and have the courage to crawl into a bear den. 

"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 agency wrote on Facebook promoting the career opportunity.  

In addition to enforcement, the job also entails educating the public about wildlife and wildlife management, conducting wildlife surveys, capturing "problem animals," investigating wildlife damage to crops and property, assisting in wildlife relocations and helping to develop new regulations.

The agency said it is looking for individuals with a passion for fish and wildlife conservation and law enforcement. 

"Conservation officer candidates must have a positive attitude, a strong work ethic, and the ability to work independently and as part of a team in remote locations across New Mexico," a spokesperson for the department told FOX Television Stations. "A sense of adventure is a must!" 

So if you thought the job just entailed hugging bears all day – not so fast. 

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"The ‘Professional Bear Hugger’ posted on social media is actually in reference to our conservation officers who recently assisted with a bear research project in northern New Mexico," the spokesperson continued. "The research project is studying bear movements and population dynamics. New Mexico is now recruiting conservation officers, so we wanted to share some of the great things they do in hopes of getting more interested and qualified applicants." 

Applications for the next class of conservation officers are now open. The deadline to apply is March 30. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.