Grisly tale one of exceptions, not rules

Bears are the culprits in a tragic death in Lillooet where a woman was mauled and partially eaten last week.

Cameron Orr, Interior News

 

 

Bears are the culprits in a tragic death in Lillooet where a woman was mauled and partially eaten last week.

It’s a grim tale and the only silver lining to the whole thing is that it’s still the exception rather than the rule that bears will actively attack humans.

The possibility for bear attacks is quite real in all parts of B.C., ours included. We’re smack in the middle of bear country, just like the poor woman who was killed in Lillooet.

However events like these will always draw critics, particularly to online news comment sections.

I want to make it clear that I don’t like the idea of bears being killed, and I hope no one else does. It’s true, humans are the ones encroaching onto their habitat. Why should bears pay the price for our ‘invasion’?

On the other hand, as a matter of self-preservation, it has to be a them-or-us scenario and the occasional bear kill, while sad, is needed to protect the greater community.

On the Terrace Standard’s website, a sister publication of The Interior News, people were filing their thoughts in the comment section on a story about some grizzlies who were put down between Terrace and Kitimat. One person wrote “it should have been the people getting into trouble,” amidst other comments in a similar vein.

The bears, it was reported, had been opening coolers and showing signs of habituation due to public interaction.

When bears stop fearing humans, it becomes a lot easier for them to start turning aggressive, instead of just being the fuzzy animals we see from a short distance.

Comments on the Vancouver Sun website on the Lilloeet mauling go along the same lines. One person said the killing of nearby black bears on suspicion of involvment is “senseless and ignorantly vengeful.”

The fact of the matter is a woman was killed by a bear and chances were good that it was one of the ones conservation officers killed. If a family of bruins starts getting a taste for human flesh, you shouldn’t wait until there’s another victim before acting.

The final backgrounder to all this is a story I wrote once in Kitimat, about a bear who wandered in — physically opening the door — to a Subway restaurant. The bear was put down.

Same idea there. When a bear not only loses its fear of humans and human dwellings, but figures out how to actually open doors, it has become dangerous.

Humans, certainly, need to go a long way to not disturbing the natural order of things in the animal kingdom, but doing nothing when animals become dangerous is irresponsible to the community.

Just Posted

Wildfire update for Aug. 19, 2018

Crews hard at work in all sectors today

Robbery suspect arrested near Burns Lake

RCMP use spike belt to deflate vehicle’s tires

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Police patrol for looters in evacuated areas south of Burns Lake

RCMP have brought in extra officers for the task

Fire chases Burns Lake crews out of their own camp

Crews are having to leave after a wildfire reportedly overtook their sleeping quarters

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights are misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Most Read