Last Friday Stephanie Rivkin went hiking in the Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area in Connecticut, and had an encounter with two black bear cubs. She videoed the event and posted it to YouTube.
Now at least one of the bear cubs will be put to death by the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental. Well, what do you expect of a state that lumps wildlife with energy? (This is the part where you imagine me rolling my eyes.)
Anyway, back to our story. It’s not like this was the little guy’s first encounter with humans. Note the ear tags? Seems Mr. Bear broke into a home last summer and also tried to follow a woman into a building. Wildlife officials say the bear was actually sizing up Ms. Rivkin as prey, which means he’s acting boldly toward humans. For that reason, he must die to protect others.
Next let’s move south to Florida, where today the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will open meetings to discuss the future of bears in the state. Earlier this year, despite three-quarters of persons writing to the agency stating they were against the measure, the commission voted to allow bear hunting in the state starting this year. Florida Fish and Wildlife is recommending the bear “harvesting” to “stabilize bear populations” while providing, “safe, responsible, sustainable hunting opportunities.”
Why do bear populations need to be “managed?” Because the bears are encroaching on the land that we took from the bears. They raid garbage cans, enter homes, attack people and their pets.
The commission has yet to decide how many bears can be killed by hunters, but is proposing allowing up to 320 bears be killed, with each licensed hunter allowed to kill one bear without the use of dogs or bait. Despite these recommendations, the state has thus far issued almost 2000 hunting licenses. Biologists estimate there are only 1500 bears in the state. (Here are the proposed “harvest” recommendations for bears in Florida. By harvest they mean kill).
Even though the stories greatly differ, the underlying common denominator is that bears must die because they are too aggressive. We must kill them for the sake of humanity.
And why do bears become aggressive with humans?
We lure them to us.
We take over their lands, then build homes, businesses, farms and ranches. We put out garbage filled with discarded food. Some people actually feed bears. And then there are people like Stephanie who was thinking of showing off to her friends by videotaping the bear interaction instead of getting the hell out of there as soon as she noticed bears in the area.
To be sure, animal welfare and animal rights advocates are fighting both the bear hunt in Florida and the killing of the cubs in Connecticut. Speak up Wekiva is suing the state to stop the proposed bear hunt in Florida. Katherine Campoli started a Twitter campaign #SparetheBear in an attempt to force the Connecticut agency to change its mind.
What can YOU do to help bears?
Don’t feed wild animals! It’s a death sentence for many of them. I know you think you’re doing a good deed, but what makes you feel good may mean death for the animals you think you’re helping.
Fight for animals to enjoy a habitat free from human interaction.
Educate others on the appropriate ways to interact with wildlife.
Don’t engage in hunting of animals except for those to be used for food.
Oh, and don’t EVER pay to pet bear cubs or other wild animals!
Animals are not here for our entertainment. Hunting, petting, feeding animals make you feel good, but for animals it leads to abuse, neglect, and death- all for our amusement.
Leave the bears (and other wild creatures) alone.
27 thoughts on “Killing Bears- For Humanity’s Sake #SparetheBear”
The rules regarding animal welfare in this state (FL) are embarrassing to say the least, and an absolute travesty at the worst. People are always so quick with their knee-jerk reactions, and don’t take the time to think about what the long-term ramifications will be. How sad is it that generations to come may never know the gentleness of a manatee, admire the protection a mother bear gives her cubs, or the stealth and beauty of the Florida Panther. And as for Dade County’s breed-specific legislation on pit bulls? You would be amazed at the amount of bullies put down without ever being given a chance to find a loving home outside of the narrow minded county. This may be an aesthetically beautiful state, but don’t dig too deep. You will find way too much ugliness.
I think all of us who follow @_FloridaMan or @_Flor1daWoman on Twitter know how ugly Florida truly is.
yes…. I’m glad when I know they live in their natural habitat without two-legged visitors ….
We humans don’t think we’re arrogant at all, and yet there is virtually no place on earth where we don’t feel entitled to be, either as a visitor or a resident, and animals are expected to adapt or die.
This is exactly why i never feed any wildlife..recently much was made of a poor kangaroo..a ‘pet’ that visited the same property all the time and was fed by the owner..it ended up shot by someone..now the thing is it lost it’s natural wariness..we have mobs here of 30 or more..i may capture their images on a daily basis but they have a buffer zone i respect..i allow them to behave with caution around me..i would not want them to see me as a friend..they hop away and i do not get a picture so be it..what if the next owners decide they are a pest..having been made reliant on feed and losing their fear. Birds will come to gardens with water..feed they have to find elsewhere..and so i can be happy knowing ‘my’ roos are safe they are wary and the photos i get are totally natural behaviours..people are dense..like the bug shark bru haha here,.what a horror a shark in it’s own habitat kills or attacks..the day they get out of the water and hold a gun to my back at an ATM then maybe it’s time to act….urghh.
Right! I used to feed birds until I realized that I was doing the birds no favors. They ate just fine before I came along and all I was doing was letting them congregate in one area so predators could easily pick them off.
Exactly..and then if the feed stops they are lost for what to do..
Good suggestions. Bears and wildlife seem to be coming down out of the mts to the valleys early this year. They may sense something about the coming winter. Which means they will run into more humans – many who are new to areas, who do not understand they have moved into the habitat, and want scenery and “wildlife” (meaning tame wildlife who know their place…but the animals do, humans don’t)
We desperately need to preserve migratory routes and greenbelts – not a new idea at all, but why so slow picking it up? Oh. Money for developers. Promote the outdoors – until the houses are built and people swarm in…then send the marketing items elsewhere.
We are a country build on faith in God, but the God we worship is the god money.
When life become easier – less about survival against brutal environment and elements in nature, maybe that shift happens?
What we really need is to allow people who choose to encroach on the territory of wildlife to have to face the consequences on their own. Want to live where bears have lived for years? Do so at your own risk.
God doesn’t create mistakes. So to decide that bears need to be killed would be the same as arguing with God.
Well God said lots of things humans don’t listen to, so I doubt many people care about God’s opinion on bears.
Well written! This post, in its simple essence, makes us aware that WE are behaving incorrectly… and not the fauna that which we have surrounded with our (in)human and irreverent habits.
But unfortunately I fear for these poor animals, after all who dictate the law are not environmentalists or ecologists… far from it, and bastards ready to pull the trigger are on every corner. Serenity 🙂 claudine
In other words, we’re the problem, so there is no solution? I don’t buy it.
I’m not asking you to buy it or not…
we can’t start changing the world without changing ourselves first. But there is much too proudness and selfishness… that’s proven… buy it or not… doesn’t make any difference.
Have a lovely day :-)c
A few years ago I watched an astounding series where wildlife photographer Gordon Buchanan spent time with black bears. If you google his name and the bear family and me, you may find some of the footage.
Aww.. 😦 Poor baby… 😦
Another example of people doing stupid things and wildlife paying the price. My favorite line (from FB), let’s take off all the warning labels and let nature have it’s course (or words to that effect)!
There is a petition with 50,000+ signatures to save the cub, but I doubt it’ll do any good. Blaze (grizzly bear protecting cubs) was killed “for the public good”. Stupid ass people!
I give little credence to petitions anyway. If you really want to save the cub, write your OWN letter to the state’s governor.
The bear was killed yesterday.
Wow! That was unexpected (extreme sacarcasm intended)! I’ve been boycotting FB so thanks for letting me know.
Reblogged this on Rumpydog and commented:
UPDATE: The male cub that approached Ms. Rivkin was shot and killed yesterday by Connecticut Dept of Energy and Environmental staff. Now the crazies will start making death threats toward DEEP and toward Ms. Rivkin, which is NOT AT ALL HELPFUL!!! How about instead using your energy to teach people how to appropriately interact with bears!
Personally I like bears very much and it is unbearable to see them killed by humans because whatever they did…….Of course I know bears should not harm humans but I never thought of why they started doing it….so like you said….what we could do save them makes a good point.