Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sharing this Planet with the Wild Life

We live in one of the most beautiful provinces in Canada. We are famous for our wilderness and wild life. We have set aside thousands of acres of land to preserve this wilderness and the animals that live in them.
This weekend a man, his wife and dog took a walk at a residential area that borders  Buntzen Lake . A wonderful area that I have been hiking for many years with Miss Lucy. The hiker encountered a mother bear and her three cubs. According to news paper accounts the man, in his panic to get away,  ran inadvertently in the direction of the cubs which were up a tree. The bear doing what mother nature intended her to do charged after the man to protect her cubs. She smacked him in warning, the man fell striking his head on a rock. When the man thought it was safe he grabbed his dog to leave, but his dog went after the bear again. A truck came along and the driver seeing what was happening honked his horn scaring the bear off.
The man was taken to hospital and treated for superficial wounds. In other words the bear was only warning him and not intent to kill him. The RCMP were called to the scene. They decided that the mother bear should be shot leaving three orphaned cubs.  The cubs have been taken to a wildlife center to be raised and released sometime next spring.
Many people are angry that this bear was shot and for just reasons. While the conservation officers justify the killing by  saying  that the bear was known to them. That the bear had been getting into garbage and the bear had been relocated once before, but had returned.
To my knowledge bears have been frequent visitors to Buntzen Lake trails forever. I know personally that every year I have hiked there I have seen signs warning of the bears in the area and I have seen bear scat on the trails.  In my opinion this bear was no different than any of the others. The fact that it got into garbage is the fault of people in the area not using bear secure garbage containers not the fault of the bears that eat the garbage. Maybe we should shoot the residents in the area? It would seem more justified to me.
Bears have taken a beating this year. There have been over thirty bears shot in the province and I don't think the flimsy reasons we have been given justify it. I think maybe we should examine the fact that the government has cut back so far on funding that there are few wild life conservation officers left in the province to help educate  people about living peaceably with the other residents of this planet. 
In my opinion the bears are not the problem. People are the problem.


  1. Anonymous12:43 AM

    "People are the problem"

    There needs to be a publicity campaign to put that message across. The sad fact is that most of the problems we have with animals are caused by people but in any collision between humans and another species, it is always the other species who comes off worst. We rant about "justice" but our sense of justice stops short at our species boundary.

    We are told that London (like other cities) has "a pigeon problem": too many pigeons fouling the streets and buildings. But what do these pigeons live on? Are they the ones who drop half-eaten sandwiches and KFC meals in the street or who put out garbage in flimsy bags? We have no pigeon problem: we have a people problem.

    I think that if you were to compare the life habits of a representative set of species with the life habits of "civilized" homo sapiens, you would find that the latter is by far the most damaging to the environment, the most gratuitously wasteful and most willfully destructive. If evolution had a sense of justice, humans would have been selected out a million years ago.

    The human race is a disease and I am afraid it is fatal: the planet will die of it.

  2. The whole thing really saddened me too Catz. I don't know how they could have established knowing the bear before killing her and i guess she did have a identity tag but her info was probably only known after the fact.
    Now they're talking about what to do about the deer in Penticton....that's going to be another sad story i think.

  3. Yes, it's not the bears that are the problem but the people taking away their habitat. Unfortunately, it's also the people who have the guns.

  4. That's annoying. The man was threatening the cubs, even inadvertently, and she was protecting them. For this, she's killed? That's ridiculous. And what about the cubs? Being an orphan is no fun, even for an animal.

  5. "The man was threatening the cubs, even inadvertently, and she was protecting them. For this, she's killed?"

    But of course. Shouldn't other animals have the decency to stand aside when they perceive their offspring to be threatened--by one of us, I mean?