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Adirondack Lifestyle ™: Aug 26, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

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.