Innocent Bear Killed

Ignorance is bliss.

I remember when I was 4, 5, and 6 years old and going to Disney World to see the princesses and to ride some of my favorite rides seemed like the greatest thing ever. Then I discovered “wild” Florida. I have found place after place while hiking, biking, and paddling that seem very close to heaven to me. I am constantly astounded by the beauty of natural Florida and love our wildlife so, so much. Today is one of those days that a part of me wishes to go back to my earlier Disney “bliss” and not know of the very things that have become part of my heart and soul in natural Florida.

Today I learned about a very distressing situation that occurred yesterday near Pensacola. A man let his dog out who ran to a nearby wooded area and then heard yelps. He ran to see an adult bear and three cubs. The dog and the human had  NON-LIFE THREATENING injuries from the bear acting in self-defense. The thing is, this bear could have easily killed the dog and severely injured and killed the human as well. A dog and human who end up with basically minor injuries from an adult bear who was startled and protecting her three cubs shows just how non-aggressive Florida Black Bears really are. A swipe at a human’s face is not the behavior of a”vicious predator” but an animal who happens to be large and powerful who is understandably defending herself and her cubs!! She just wanted to be left alone after having been startled and threatened. This adult bear is immensely powerful and acted in self-defense; she did not ATTACK a dog or a human. Here is an article about this, although please read the comments as well:

Bear acts in self defense article

I am disgusted by this reporter’s delight in this bear’s terror. (below) Did she misunderstand that this was not a wildlife viewing party? Does this reporter even care that this bear did NOTHING WRONG? After being harassed by a dog and a human, this bear was trapped in a cage, separated from her cubs, and surrounded by strange people shining lights on her before she was killed. How would any one of those humans like being treated that way?!? This mother bear was probably distraught by all of that, but also by not knowing where her cubs were and unable to get to them. What is wrong with people that they are so heartless to these creatures that are so incredibly intelligent and do not deserve humans acting so despicably? I am so unbelievably angry that this reporter said that she was “so excited” to see a wild bear for the first time. That seems a rather selfish and cruel thing to say about this terrified bear.

Reporter excited to see innocent trapped bear

Last week I had the privilege of speaking to two college classes about our bears. I told them that it is not a threat but our good fortune to have bears native to our state. It is ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS a human at fault when there are any negative bear-human interactions and it is long past time that everyone starts acting responsibly and less selfish. You do not have to be a ‘tree-hugger’ to know that humans have a need to act responsibly when they live in the vicinity of animals like bears. Why should these four bears pay the price for ONE human’s irresponsible behavior? The female mother bear was killed as per FWC policy. Maybe their policy should be re-examined as this bear did nothing wrong and was killed because of an irresponsible human. Now her three cubs are going to be relocated to another part of the forest without regard to knowing what territorial disputes it may cause. They lost their mother before they are truly ready to live on their own (after all, if they didn’t need their mother anymore, they would not have still been with her!!) AND they will lose the only home that is familiar to them. This is just so wrong. The human involved should be severely punished, not these bears. Just because an animal is powerful does not justify killing her.

~Megan

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