September 23, 2019

Ontario Court Dismisses Case to Stop Spring Bear Hunt

Animal rights activists have been trying to stop a proposed spring bear hunt in Ontario. Authorities are trying to reduce bear populations to lessen the incidences of bear/human conflicts.

An Ontario Court dismissed the case and it appears the spring bear hunt will go on.

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16,180 Human-Bear Conflicts in One Year

“The Conservation Officer Service is British Columbia’s primary responder to human-wildlife conflicts where there is a risk to public safety, conservation concerns, or where significant property damage has occurred.

In 2013-14, the Conservation Officer Service received 28,063 calls regarding human-wildlife conflicts. Of those calls, 16,180 involved human-bear conflicts. During this same period, the total number of black bear and grizzly bear calls were down slightly from the previous year.

Over the past five years in B.C., an average of 658 black bears have been destroyed each year, while 91 have been relocated due to conflicts with people.”<<<Read More>>>

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Kitty Cats Missing – Searching for Explanation

In a small mid-Maine town, at least six people’s cats have come up among the missing, according to the Bangor Daily News. The owners of the cats are searching for both cats and an explanation for a seemingly odd and mysterious vanishing. I don’t think it’s all that odd.

Among some of the theories being talked about in this article as to what or who to blame, are foxes and mountain lions, and yet no mention of any member of the canine species other than the fox.

Of course there could be some pervert living in or visiting the neighborhood who has some kind of cat fetish, dead or alive, or maybe even an acquired taste for the little felines. However, it is, more than likely, the result of some larger predator/killer that’s hungry and/or very opportunistic.

There are no fewer than two sure bets when it comes to wild critters: they will always be hungry and they will always have to compete with man, mostly for space but also for food. There’s not a lot that can be done about space, although we try. Yeah, some say that man is swallowing up these critters’ habitat and that encroachment is ruining the dietary plans of some of these animals. While true, to some degree, I wonder if anyone has ever conducted a study that shows how man’s encroachment on the forests, fields and deserts, has increased usable habitat and foraging opportunities for wild animals, including birds? I’ll bet there’s a tradeoff, especially when you consider there are many more species of wild animals in this country than at any other time in recorded history.

All wild animals compete for habitat and food, whether with their own kind or another wild animal. In its most basic form, rational thinking will tell us that if there’s a food shortage, competition increases. On the same token, if the population of certain species increases, so does the competition for food. God forbid both happen at the same time.

Wild animals are, for the most part, opportunistic hunters/foragers. Let’s face it, our own human instinct is to go where we can get something we like to eat in the easiest possible manner available to us. Wild animals are no different.

If, as humans, we provide protection and food for wild animals, either intentionally or not, we will have visitors, some of which we might wish we didn’t have, as may be the explanation for missing cats.

Generally speaking, if wild critters have all the room they need and all the food to eat within that space, we as busy humans seldom, if ever, see them. It’s when circumstances change that six people will lose their cats, all in short period of time.

It sounds from reading the article that most of these kidnapped cat owners let their pets outside and unattended. This has probably been the norm and none have ever had much cause to think otherwise. If the cats became dinner fare for some predator/varmint, chances are something in the region changed that forced the wild critters to go seeking prey elsewhere.

We, as humans, can’t do much about changing natural circumstances that alter the behavior of wild animals, but we can do something about being responsible for managing specie populations to reduce these kinds of conflicts but more importantly to provide for healthy wildlife.

There will always be anomalies when dealing with the natural world, and this one occurrence may be just that. When it becomes a common event, chances are habitat is dwindling but more than likely populations are increasing. This happens mostly due to over-protection of a species. Over-protection is irresponsible behavior and does little good for the animal species and as a result, we see increases in the negative kinds of human/wildlife encounters. We also will usually see animal disease and starvation.

One example of what Maine citizens can do is not get caught up in the emotional rhetoric being provided by the Humane Society of the United States and the Wildlife Alliance of Maine, who want to effectively ban all methods necessary to properly and responsibly manage the black bear population.

As things stand at present, Maine has a very large and growing population of black bears. The ONLY humane methods of keeping those populations in check is through hunting and trapping. If those are removed, negative encounters between bears and humans will increase. Some of those encounters are sure to be tragic and, of course, unnecessary.

I’m not sure that kitty cats are at the top of the list of dietary delights for Ursus Americanus but taken to hunger due to a loss of food and/or population growth and competition, a bear will eat most anything it can get its paws onto……including humans.

Maine citizens should be thanking hunters and trappers for the healthy wildlife we all enjoy. In combination with intelligent wildlife management science, and the implementation of the North American Model of Wildlife Management, an historically proven method of responsible wildlife management, all Maine citizens get to enjoy the results.

Nobody wants to see our own and/or our neighbors pets disappearing. One way to help ensure this doesn’t happen is to make sure that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife never have their hands tied up to a point where it prevents them from doing the best jobs they can in caring for our wild animals. Don’t let politics and private agendas dictate scientific wildlife management.

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