This is in response to yet another bear story appearing in the paper.
In a prior story, entitled “Brazen Bear Reappears,” the article cited someone who called the police because a bear was getting into their garbage. What a shock…a bear getting into unsecured garbage.
These bears are not brazen. They are habituated. What’s brazen are the humans who refuse to be responsible with their garbage. I have watched the police waste precious time and tax dollars on countless occasions, driving around looking for bears, all because someone was too lazy, ignorant or selfish to be a conscientious neighbor. The police have better things to do than respond to an utterly preventable, man-made problem.
What’s brazen are the humans who recklessly open fire in close quarters when the predicable happens. Is a gun truly better protection for your chickens than an electric fence? Was it really that life-and-death-necessary to discharge your weapon at the site of a public dumpster?
It is inexcusable that our city leaders are choosing to ignore this ticking time-bomb threat to public safety. This includes any local ADFG bear biologist who offers “suggestions” for bear-proofing one’s garbage. It should not be a “suggestion,” it should be a mandate. They know this in Juneau, they know this in Skagway, they know this in Sitka – all leaders in urban bear management. What do they know that we seem incapable of figuring out?
I have seen this movie before and I will tell you how it ends. One day, a child walking to school will be mauled or killed, or someone else will meet an equally gruesome fate, courtesy of some yahoo who can’t control their itchy trigger finger. At which time the entire town will erupt in a frenzy of grief and finger-pointing, the Monday-morning quarterbacking will start in earnest, and everyone will be asking, “How did this happen?”
Now you know how it happens. And mark my words – it will. It’s only a matter of time.