The owner of Tiffany Sports Lounge in St. Paul Minnesota said he was planning to cook a black bear in a pig roaster. His point was to signal his support for the Green Bay Packers and disdain for the Chicago Bears, who were matched in the NFC Championship game to determine who goes to the Super Bowl.
The bear was shot by the sports bar owner’s cousin in Wisconsin legally during their hunting season. “We’re roasting a 180 pound black bear for the Bears, Packers game. [A] little good-spirited rivalry for our friends in Chicago,” Montpetit said. (Source: KARE) The bear was going to be served to customers at the bar, however, state health officials nixed the idea. They said since the meat is unprocessed, it wouldn’t be safe to give to the public. (In 2000, an outbreak of trichinellosis was attributed to inadequately cooked wild bear meat.) Instead, the cooked bear will be served at a party in Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says in 2010, 5,000 bears were hunted and killed in the state. In 2008, there were 1,396 bear complaints, and if the number was about the same for 2010, far more bears were harvested than there were complaints.
A number of these “problem bears” are actually the result of people leaving their garbage out, and in some cases actually feeding the bears, and yet are the people who do so fined? In 2009, a young adult bear walked into a grocery store, and headed right for a beer cooler, which suggests the bear had been fed beer, otherwise it wouldn’t have known what it is, and to focus on it. They also say they don’t know precisely how many bears are in the state, “Because black bears primarily use forested habitats, it is not possible to count them directly.” (Source: WDNR) So they use a model developed for estimating their population, which could be as many as 30,000.
It is extremely rare for a black bear to attack a human, and even then it is often because the person has crossed into their territory unwittingly, or come between a mother and cubs. The black bear diet is mainly vegetarian, so they have no interest in hunting a human.
Roasting an innocent animal that was killed in an unnecessary hunt, to express some sense of rivalry over a football game seems to go against the spirit of competition, which is fair play and teamwork.
There is a petition for ceasing the annual Wisconsin bear hunts.
Image Credit: Alan Vernon