Live trap, dead bear

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The bear is dead.

Stephen Colbert might be happy ( but my guess is many of our readers will be disheartened to hear a bear frequenting

MacDonald Road is dead.

The young female bear – rumoured to have cubs – was caught in a live trap

July 4:

The live trapping strikes me as slightly shady, given that DNR ended up

putting it down – as if the optics of catching it alive would fool people

into thinking the story would have a happy ending. It’s probably just safer and more humane than using live ammo in the field, but still…

It’s easy to weekend quarterback these things, and a bear that’s made a

residential area its home terrain does pose a risk to residents.

Somehow, though, the outcome just doesn’t seem right.

I live in the county and we have bears. I’ve seen two this summer, one of

them maybe a hundred yards from my property line. It was in a neighbour’s

backyard and she had a cub with her. Another time I was out for a walk with

my daughter, we came over a hill and there was a bear with two cubs ahead on

the road. Our compost container regularly gets tossed – either strong

raccoons or bears. And the previous owner of our house said he once found a

bear on the front lawn.

Having bears close by is more dangerous than not. But I wouldn’t have it any

other way. Every time I see a bear it’s wonderful. I love that I live in a

place where wildlife also lives.

Would I feel the same way if the same bear kept coming back to my property,

in broad daylight? Maybe not. It’s just that it seems fundamentally unfair:

we build suburban-style developments on what is fundamentally rural land,

then park green bins full of smelly food at the end of our driveways, and

then when a bear shows up, we kill it.

I’m not saying it’s anyone’s fault. I am saying we need to take the time and

energy, and pay the expense, to come up with a better way of dealing with

the problem.

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