What madness. Just after a mother bear in British Columbia was euthanized for barely hurting a man, comes a report of another mother bear with cubs being taken down, and this time it appears to have been the wrong bear. Near Crestone, Colorado a bear was euthanized by wildlife officials, but a rancher said they got the wrong one. Someone had complained to the Wildlife department about a large and small bear killing their goat, but the officers shot a mother bear with cubs instead.
“She was an amazing mother. She was very attentive. She made special noises to get them up the tree and down it,” said the rancher. (Source: 9news.com) The cubs huddled around the mother bears body waiting for it to awake. The rancher is also an attorney and is considering suing the Wildlife department.
Is it standard policy to orphan bear cubs by euthanizing their mothers? To some this might seem a sentimentally-based complaint, but killing the mother results sometimes in the deaths of the young, and yet they didn’t do any harm. Also, depending on the age of the young, leaving them without a mother could make them more likely to seek easy food sources such as human garbage, because the may not have learned to find every natural food source adult bears use.
Often in such cases bears are attracted to areas where humans live due to unsecured garbage. Making sure food waste is stored properly usually eliminates bear incidents. Also, more residential development is taking place closer to wildlife habitats, and there is less habitat remaining for wild animals. They need many square miles of natural land to move around in when they are looking for food. Crestone has a human population of about 100 or less people, and is located in a mountainous area with many forests. Because of its’ natural beauty and closeness to the Rocky Mountains, a number of spiritual centers are located in the area.
Image Credit: Fred Bauder