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Saturday, May 05, 2012

Kill the Bears

A black bear in Boulder was tranquilized last week and fell out of a tree.  His photo went viral. The bear, unhurt by the incident, went for a long car ride and was dumped somewhere near the Continental Divide.

On Thursday, he was back in the Boulder area, killed by a car when trying to cross the Boulder Turnpike.


And hey, I can't really fault the Parks and Wildlife Department for trying to be humane about the whole thing, but maybe they could also be smart about it too?  I mean, we're getting into dicey territory when the "humane" option is tranking a bear, making him fall out of tree, dropping him in hostile territory way out of his range, and hoping for the best.

The last week of that bear's life must have been terrifying.  "Man, I don't get it.  First these people are leaving out food and the next thing they're shooting me with darts.  Then they kidnap me and drag me out into the middle of nowhere."  I can picture the bear clambering through the valleys in a panic.  "Gotta get home, gotta get home."


I mean, he is just a dumb bear.  He doesn't know he's supposed to live in the wilderness.  He thought he just had to live where there were no other bears and a plentiful food supply.  It's not his fault he found that in an urban area.  How was he supposed to know?


I do applaud Parks and Wildlife for this:
"We try to do everything we can to give the bears a chance and we really need citizens to step up and give these bears a chance as well. We need them to remove food attractants such as trash, bird feeders and fruit and berries falling off of trees."
But.....but one third of that is "duh!" (trash removal), another third is just impractical (what, we're going to have foraging teams denuding all berry and fruit bearing trees?), and the remaining third won't have much impact.

What we need, I think, is some courageous person to make the case for culling these bears.  In other words, this should be part of the Parks and Wildlife statement:
"And we really need citizens to give us the flexibility and understanding that allows us to cull some of these urban bears.  They cannot be effectively relocated, nor can they be trained to avoid potential confrontations.  For the safety of the public and the health of the species, we'll be euthanizing any habituated bears we catch in an urban area."

That won't happen in our current intellectual climate, where well-meaning folks don't seem to get that nature is much, much crueler than man ever could be.  Don't eat meat.  Don't wear leather or fur.  I don't care.


But for God's sake, cull the urbanized bears.

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