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Friday, October 5, 2012

Wild Urban Bears: They Don't Fit the Bambi "Narrative"

Happy Dancing Bears! - or dangerous carnivores marking territory?
About 15 years ago Mrs. Wolf was driving along near our home and saw a black bear.

We were new in the rural neighborhood at that time and everyone through she was seeing things.

Then a couple of years ago a local deer hunter using our property showed us a picture his "wildlife camera" took of a small black bear on our property.

Last year I was jogging along about 1/2 mile from our home.  A large (probably 375 - 450 pound) black bear jump out over the guard rail about 20 yards in front of me.  He headed across the road.

I was completely startled but could only think to keep jogging along.

The bear looked over at me.  He must of knew I was coming down the road (I'm there every day and a lot of the other wild life just ignores me even during hunting season).  The other side of the guard rail was a very steep creek bed - maybe three feet deep.  So he had had to come up the almost vertical embankment then jump the two foot guard rail.

I guess he figured if he could do all that I wasn't a potential threat.

In any case he just kept going across the road.

By the time I closed the 20 or so yards he was up the opposite embankment and into the woods.  I could not see him - though I did not stop to look carefully either.

About a month ago my neighbor stopped me as I was going out to jog.

"Did you see him?" he asked.

"No, see who?"

"The bear!" he replied.

He then proceeded to tell me how a "very large" bear (he estimated 400 pounds) had crossed the road in front of his house, came down our mutual driveway past his house and down in front of my house before he turned off into the field.

"What time was this?" I responded.

"About 10:00 AM" he replied.

A week or two later a local teenager shot a 350 pound black bear about a mile from my house with a bow and arrow.

In August a bear entered the local Sears a few miles from my house.  Several other bears were seen in the shopping area in subsequent days.

Though people tell me there are coyotes in the area I have never seen any.

A friend reported bears in her heavily urbanized neighborhood over the last several years.

So our area is overrun by bears.

This is a phenomena that's not just common to my area according to this DiscoveryNews article.

What's troubling is that idiots think have 350 pound carnivores running loose in their neighborhoods is not a bad thing.

For example, in the article an associate professors pontificates that he "...suspect[s] that we're probably going to have to get accustomed to the situation."

Now this is an interesting point of view.

My small (several in weight - say between 30 - 80 pounds) grand children often play outside at my house.

A small child could easily be killed by a 350 pound bear - especially one brazen enough to wander around my property in broad daylight.

According to Wikipedia black bears kill about one person each year.

With their expanding populations we can expect more of this from bears as well as other predators like mountain lions and coyotes.

I personally think that the idea we have to "get accustom" to this will not last once bears start killing small children in urban areas.

Bears in my area have probably multiplied by a factor of six or eight over the last fifteen years.

Personally I am not too worried about a bear harming my grandchildren.  We have several larger dogs which should be able to discourage any bears from carrying off children.

Though I would still be concerned about a bear with cubs.

I have to ask myself why have large, free roaming carnivores running loose in populated areas is acceptable.

The DiscoverNews article mentions that "eradication" is "costly and unpopular."

However, I imagine it would not remain "unpopular" once someone's small child hand be maimed or killed.  (Bears already kill pets and destroy property in urban areas.)

To me this notion that we should allow dangerous predators around our small children smacks of the dogma of stupid or "following the narrative."

We all love Bambi so human's can't kill deer - but its okay to have them hit by semi's or family cars traveling at 80 mph, or to have them destroying property around homes, or starving to death because they are unable to get enough food to eat.

Somehow these means of eliminating Bambi are considered more "humane."

But why?

I think the answer is simple.

Its just a shift of responsibility - I feel good by declaring Bambi should not die.  Bambi is warm and cuddly and makes me feel good.  I can hang calenders with Bambi's picture in my house.  I can feed Bambi in the winder.

But when you think about it those activities do little to ensure Bambi's life will be a decent one.

Feeding Bambi in the winter is great as long as you remember to do it.  If you stop, go out of town, or forget then Bambi simply starves.

But Bambi has the good sense to starve out of sight so no one feels bad.

With bears the situation is far worse.  They are large, dangerous carnivores.  The only reason they are not more dangerous today is that they were driven out of inhabited areas by our parents and grandparents generation.

They saw having dangerous carnivores running loose as a problem - not a benefit.

Human do okay managing large populations of domesticated herbivores like cow, sheep, and so on.

To my knowledge humans don't keep large packs of carnivores for a reason.

They are dangerous and smart.

And now they are smarter and more dangerous that US.

They will are infiltrating our urban areas and eventually will become a serious danger to us.  Will will allow this because we think that all wild animals are like Bambi.

Personally I don't worry too much - my grandchildren are smart and the dogs keep good watch on them.  I live outside the city so there is always somewhere for a dangerous animal to run should they be confronted by humans or dogs.

The problems will come.

Here's a local TV news reporting making fun of 600 pound bear wandering in a suburban back yard.

Why is this funny?  The poor guy texting on his phone clearly doesn't look happy.

I imagine that if the bear were to be let loose in the TV newsroom things would be less "funny."

Here's a video of bears fighting to establish territory in someone's front yard (image above from this video).   The people who's front yard this happens in likes it...???  They want to see more bears.

We used to break English Mastiffs.  Males at 200 pounds would fight.  Unless they were well trained (which they were) they were impossible to stop.  Bears are two or three times bigger and wild.

This will all remain "funny" until it gets out of hand.

They say in the second video that "experts" don't know what to make of it.  Duh!

Either sparing over territory or young males just having fun - in either case they are unlikely to view any human imposition into their business as anything but an annoyance.

When it does, it will happen quickly and everyone will be surprised.

Imagine, wild bears harming someone!

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