Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What Happens When You Feed Bears…

The woman had been warned for more than ten years, to stop feeding bears at her cabin. Neighbors worried about her drawing too many bears to the area and complained about a growing number of bears ransacking trash cans and even trying to break into houses.

But the eccentric wildlife lover; who had been feeding bears, elk, skunks and raccoons for years and who stocked her backyard with dog food, fruit and yogurt, finally quit taking calls and letters and tried to ban them from her property. And she continued to feed the bears.

Earlier this week, the Ouray (yoo-ray), Colorado woman’s body was found outside her cabin while a 250 pound bear fed on it. The bear, which showed no fear of humans and aggressively protected its meal, was shot and killed. Another bear, 394 pounds, was shot and killed the following night, when it returned presumably to continue feeding. A necropsy report determined it had been eating the woman.

Apparently, the night before her death, the woman planned to feed an injured baby bear hard-boiled eggs and yogurt, a former tenant said. And that she had planned to use a broom to swat a large bear that was bothering the baby bear, a former tenant said.

The old woman had enclosed her porch with hog-wire fencing for protection, another tenant who had shared the woman's home explained, allowing her to feed and watch the bears. Eventually, the animals got to be too much, especially the skunks which were allowed inside the house; the tenant moved. While she lived there, a bear broke her car window and left bite-marks on the car’s seat, trying to get some leftover French fries.

Bears fed by humans lose their instinct to fear people and they expect that food source to continue. I remember, as a child, hand feeding a billy-goat which was on a long chain. When I ran out of grass, he butted me in the belly before I could pick more; he knocked the wind out of me. Animals are funny that way; they want what they want, when they want it.

A bear apparently swatted the old woman through her porch fencing and then drug the unconscious woman under the fence and into the yard, where bears began feeding on her body.

Keep in mind, far more people are killed by domestic dogs and electric toasters than by bears…but you invite trouble feeding them. And I have to remind even myself, that feeding birds where bears can get the feed…is feeding bears. Please don’t!

You can find more on this story here and here.

Bears can run as fast as a horse, remove the door from a locked car, will rip off siding and remove windows to get at dirty dishes in a kitchen sink. Oh, and if you think a broom or a BB-gun or some other noisemaker is going to protect you from a bear, check this out from last month:

Bear takes 10 rounds before going down.

BOULDER, Colo. — A black bear that broke into a Boulder County home and charged at the homeowner was killed only after three rounds from a shotgun, five shots from a handgun and two from a rifle. Paul Fischer fired birdshot and a rubber bullet at the 120-pound bear it was found rummaging through the kitchen early Monday morning. The family escaped when the third shot seemed to disorient the bear.
Sheriff’s deputies found a bear trying to claw his way through a screen door when they arrived. Sgt. Lance Enholm fired his handgun five times at the bear after determining it was severely wounded.
Enholm says the bear kept moving toward him and was finally felled and killed by two shots from his rifle.
Information from: Daily Camera, www.dailycamera.com/
Photos from Wikipedia

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