Aggressive Bear Killed for Safety in Sequoia National Park

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 06 July 2018





Aggressive Bear not Tolerated in Sequoia

Bear euthanized in Sequoia,
Kaweah Commonwealth, June 29, 2018.

Problem Bear
"A young, male bear was trapped and euthanized this month by Sequoia National Park wildlife officials after breaking into cabins and other offenses in the Silver City area of Mineral King."


"Here are the results of the bear obtaining food rewards:

—The bear charged a resident in an attempt to enter a cabin.

—The bear began to enter cabins that were occupied and with the doors closed in order to obtain human food.

—The bear broke into a kitchen area to get food."



The Bottom Line

Let's be clear: the bear is conforming its behavior to access available local resources. The most concise method to control bear behavior is to eliminate access to the resources they seek.

Once a bear understands it cannot access the food it smells inside a backpacker's bear-proof cannister, a garbage can, cars, or houses, it quits seeing those things as resources. Both humans and the bear have big problems once a bear has identified any of these things as a reliable food source. How to deal with aggressive bears is the issue here. Our choices are rather stark.

We can either deal with the behavior at inception, by making the resource the bears seek inaccessible. Or, we can deal with the behavior at the end, by killing the offending bears. Is there a "middle-ground" answer?

I've seen Yosemite Rangers employ "terror-campaigns," against bears who wander into campgrounds looking for food, shooting them with beanbag guns, pepper sprays, and I even recall a time they were using fireworks, er, I mean "flashbangs," like freeking M-60s, to scare the hell out of those bears, attempting to "train" them to fear human contact. Once this fails, they haul the offending bear into the backcountry, where it picks on unsuspecting backpackers!

We find the other end of "bear policy," in Nevada they just shoot the offending bears, fairly quickly. Things are very different on the West Shore of Tahoe than the Eastern!

The shoe's on the other paw in South Lake Tahoe. There, offending bears have a human "social" escort, a group of folks who "discourage" locals from having aggressive bears shot.

It's pretty simple to me. The bigger we grow, the more of nature and the bears will have to go.

What do you think?


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