December 2, 2023

Bears Becoming Un”Bear”able?

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A minimum of 7 people have been attacked by bears in less than one week and still the rhetoric continues that these events are rare and in most cases it is because humans exist.

I was sent links to a slew of news reports of bear attacks: CNN, Bayoubuzz, Albuquerque News Journal, News92FM, and NBC Connecticut. There have also been several incidents of bears attacking livestock and showing up more often in peoples’ back yards in Florida. The Florida Wildlife Conservation tells citizens, “Truly predatory or aggressive black bears are rare and eerily silent.”

In all of the reports linked to above, not one of them mentions any possible circumstances as to why there are so many human and bear encounters recently, other than the tired old rhetoric. While it is at least partially true that, as the Florida Wildlife Commission states, encounters with bears are usually NOT an aggressive bear going on the attack, seeking whom they may devour, it does very little to comfort those who end up being attacked, resulting in cuts, scratches, bruising, trauma or worse, death.

Harry Reynolds, vice president of the International Association for Bear Research and Management, told reporters in Michigan, where a 12-year-old girl was attacked by a bear while jogging, that, “I think the recent attacks are circumstance and not any larger outside issue weighing into the attacks” and yet offers no explanation of what is meant by “circumstance” other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Perhaps this is true but does this kind of “circumstance” occur so readily?

To continue with the incident in Michigan with the 12-year-old jogger, officials there continued to repeat the talking points about bear/predator protection but openly admitted that there was no evidence to suggest the bear attacked the girl for any other reason than it was being aggressive. It is being called an “anomaly.”

It is, in fact, circumstance and circumstances that cause human/bear encounters and yet in every single one of the reports given about these bear attacks, not one mentioned the possibility that increased bear attacks might be attributed to growing populations of bears due mostly to over-protection of the species. When the total of all fish and game departments muddle through game management having been brainwashed into believing ecosystems regulate themselves, humans should be looking for more problems than increased bear attacks.

The closest any of these news reports came to being honest and presenting a picture that people should heed when being in the outdoors and possibly encountering a bear, came from the short report out of Connecticut. The reporter stated, “According to experts, when bears are aggressive they are a serious threat to the public.”

A rarity indeed.

Armed with the truth, people are then better equipped to be in the outdoors with bears. Convincing people of how “rare” being attacked by a bear, when we are seeing evidence that it isn’t so rare, only serves to teach people there is no need to educate yourself to bear behavior.

Pretty stupid thinking if you ask me.