Don’t Feed the Bears #**@*^!

I was saddened this afternoon when I learned a black bear, Ursus americanus, had to be euthanized today at a public campground in the central Adirondacks. The resident biologist said the bear was seen hanging around the campground for several weeks and was able to get his paws on human food. This despite repeated warnings to campers to secure their food. As I have noted on this blog before, bears will eat just about anything, and people, and their food, fall into that category. The problems start when bears, or any wild animal for that matter, learn to equate humans with an easy and free lunch. They become habituated to humans and their food. This means they lose their fear of humans and think “Meal time!” when they see or sense human beings. This is exactly what happened at that campground over the course of the last few weeks. Finally, today this yearling male bear became aggressive in his quest for lunch. He began bluff charging and hissing at campers, and therefore had to be put down before he hurt someone.
This situation was not the bear’s fault, but he is the one who suffered because of human stupidity. Ed didn’t like making the call to take this action and the rangers don’t like killing bears. But they had no choice. It seems so unfair to me; the bear was just being a bear and he had to be killed because of insipid human behavior. It is a good thing I don’t work for New York State.
Please don’t feed the bears.

10 Comments

  1. Anonymous

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  2. Anonymous

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  3. ml

    our ranger spends a good deal of his time harassing the bears after people have taught them to come around for an easy meal. part of the harassment is shooting the bears with bean bags. i think the wrong species is being harassed. when a ranger finds unsecured food being eaten by bears he should tag the people with bean bags. maybe that would solve the problem. surely people can learn faster than bears.

  4. Joann

    Yes, ml, I agree. I've watched Ed and the rangers "haze" bears in order to scare them away – they shoot rubber BBs at them, etc. I have suggested they 'haze' the humans, but to no avail.

  5. AdkVegan

    Thanks for sharing this. I get so angry when other animals suffer because humans don't know how to act or are too lazy to do something correctly. This killing should never have happened. So sad.

  6. Anonymous

    Doesn't the DEC site say a fed bear is a dead bear? Once wildlife start getting food and then becoming aggressive there is no choice. The next headline would be "why didn't DEC shoot the bear before it mauled a child to get some lunch". A bear attached a man down in the Catskills last week. Public safety has to come first.

    Nobody likes to put a bear down but we humans keep our birdfeeders and garbage and coolers so available and wonder why the wildlife are on the porch.

  7. Anonymous

    Anon:
    The bears are on our porch becasue we built our house in the bears front yard. And we are cmaping and hiking and 4-wheeling and snowmobiling through their living room. The conflict is inevitable and before all wildlife suffer the effects of human overpopulation and encraochment on their environment to the extent they become novelities in zoo, people need to smarten up. I guarantee that DEC wildlife biologists are geared 99% toward maintaining the "correct" level of "GAME" species (cute term for things people pay a fee to go kill in the woods…). We need a state agency that protects all animals and the natural environment on the theory that have intrinsic value just in being, not because they serve humans. -Lily

  8. Ed

    Lily-
    You should check your facts before pontificating about the funding and activities of DEC biologists. Have you reviewed the budgets? Even though my salary comes 100% from hunters' license fees, I spend over half of my time on species that are not hunted and on helping people deal with wildlife conflicts. Hunters, the ultimate conservationists, have funded the recovery of many endangered species, such as the bald eagle and peregrine falcon, in addition to protecting the habitat of all species. Google "The North American Conservation Model" and read the real story of wildlife professionals' and hunters' contributions that have benefited all wildlife.

  9. Harvey44

    And another sad story….

  10. Joann

    Uh, Harv, same story. I just had it first.
    😉

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