Do Not Feed the Bears!
That is a sign that you often in national parks. It seems pretty straight forward. In fact it even seems like common sense. But, apparently it is confusing to to some people so, they go ahead and feed the bears. Maybe they don’t all try to feed them by hand so, they just leave out leftovers and garbage…in case a hungry bear comes by and wants a snack.
Stupid people cause bad behavior. That bad behavior can lead to a death sentence. That is a death sentence for the bear that is conditioned to think people = food. Bears are suppose to have a fear of people and want to avoid them.
One poor bear in the Smoky Mountains National Park is set to be euthanized soon. This bear has been “named” Laurel by fans she has on Facebook that are rallying to save her.
How did this all get started?
Laurel is believed to be the bear that bit a man. From different accounts of the story, the man was trying to take a photo of her and she got a bit close and bit his foot. I don’t think his injuries were that bad compared to the punishment for the bear (death). Laurel has also been spotted before being feed by park visitors. The poor bear is just doing what animals do, someone putts out food they eat it. The bear also learns that if 1 person gives them food then all people should.
The National Parks policy is that if a bear bites a person, the animal must be put down. The park rangers and authorities say that once a bear learns to expect food from people it can not be broken of that. They also have a terrible time because no other places want to accept the bear for relocation once it has bitten someone. The only option left is to kill the bear to reduce the risk of it biting again.
This could all have been avoided if people would have just followed the rules of the sign. Don’t Feed the Bears!
People could easily take out their garbage. You know the old saying for camping…take out what you brought in.
Then there is the fact that the guy that got bit must have been wanting the bear as close as possible so he could show off the “Ultimate Wildlife Picture”. The dude deserved to be bit more than the bear deserves to die for his (and others) stupidity.
If people want to get up close and personal with a bear…I suggest they get themselves a nice Stuffed Teddy Bear. Plush bears are much better to snuggle for that ultimate picture.
If you would like to see the Facebook page of almost 3,600 people visit Save the Black bear in The smokies from dumb tourists <- What a great name for the page. Dumb tourist is very fitting. This group does seem to blame the park visitors Not the bear.