In British Columbia, a man had an encounter with a wild bear in a manufactured-home park. It was a mother bear with cubs. The mother bear charged the man, swatted him once, and then stood over him. The man had only minor injuries from the encounter. The mother bear was shot and killed the same day she defended her cubs, even though she didn’t harm him much. He and his wife tried to persuade authorities to not shoot the bear, which had been relocated once before for eating from garbage cans.
The man who was swatted said this, “He told Fontana he thought the bear showed amazing restraint, considering that he had stumbled across her with her cubs.” (Source: BClocalnews.com) He actually went to visit the now orphaned bear cubs at an animal care center, and reportedly felt very bad the mother bad was euthanized. One local media outlet that reported the incident called him a bear attack victim, but he is healthy and the bear is dead.
Eliminating a bear that barely harmed a person, is the exact opposite approach to dealing with bears that was used in Yellowstone National Park, when a hiker was killed after surprising a mother grizzly bear with cubs. This mother bear was allowed to live because it was determined she was merely defending her cubs, and her behavior was perfectly normal for the situation.
It sounds as if the another issue is how garbage is being left in cans near the trailer park and so is accessible to bears and one or more potentially, was enticed to the area because of the smell and what effectively was free leftovers. When humans don’t secure waste or food properly in bearcountry, of course they probably will be attracted to it, and come close to residences near the food source. Last year, in the span of just two weeks, three bears were killed because they had learned to visit homes where food had been left out.
If they food had not been left out where bears could smell and access it, they would not have been attracted, and would still be alive. In other words, it was human ignorance and malpractice that were the cause of the loss of bear life.
Image Credit: Mila Zinkova