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Author Topic: On Killing a Bear...
Hephaestion
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posted 01 August 2004 03:50 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm not certain just where this belongs, so I'll put it here...

A friend of mine just came back from an outdoor jazz festival in Kaslo, and reported that there had been a bear, about a year old, so not full-grown, that had been quietly been eating cherries off to the side of the crowd, not bothering anyone. The bear had been sitting there quietly for some time when the local RCMP officer had showed up, presumably because someone had called in a complaint.

Not to put too fine a point on it, he shot the yearling bear. But didn’t kill him. Apparently, he shot the bear in the belly (not the head). I am uncertain what calibre of weapon the cop was using. The bear, wounded and gouting blood, slowly and laboriously, dragged himself down to the lakefront, while the crowd chanted “Shame! Shame!” at the RCMP officer. When he arrived at the lake, the young bear lay down head-first in the water, where he drowned.

Small children were crying, adults were upset, and the on-stage musicians called for a moment of silence in honour of the bear who had died in front of them all.

This is one of the largest tourist attractions in Kaslo every year, but as my friend reported all of the above to me in indignant tones, I was not thinking of the public relations disaster this represented, or the potential loss of tourist traffic. Instead, I could not help thinking of the following passages from George Orwell’s essay, “On Shooting An Elephant.”

quote:

“When I pulled the trigger I did not hear the bang or feel the kick--one never does when a shot goes home--but I heard the devilish roar of glee that went up from the crowd. In that instant, in too short a time, one would have thought, even for the bullet to get there, a mysterious, terrible change had come over the elephant. He neither stirred nor fell, but every line of his body had altered. He looked suddenly stricken, shrunken, immensely old, as though the frightful impact of the bullet had paralysed him without knocking him down. At last, after what seemed a long time--it might have been five seconds, I dare say--he sagged flabbily to his knees. His mouth slobbered. An enormous senility seemed to have settled upon him. One could have imagined him thousands of years old. I fired again into the same spot. At the second shot he did not collapse but climbed with desperate slowness to his feet and stood weakly upright, with legs sagging and head drooping. I fired a third time. That was the shot that did for him. You could see the agony of it jolt his whole body and knock the last remnant of strength from his legs. But in falling he seemed for a moment to rise, for as his hind legs collapsed beneath him he seemed to tower upwards like a huge rock toppling, his trunk reaching skyward like a tree. He trumpeted, for the first and only time. And then down he came, his belly towards me, with a crash that seemed to shake the ground even where I lay.

“I got up. The Burmans were already racing past me across the mud. It was obvious that the elephant would never rise again, but he was not dead. He was breathing very rhythmically with long rattling gasps, his great mound of a side painfully rising and falling. His mouth was wide open--I could see far down into caverns of pale pink throat. I waited a long time for him to die, but his breathing did not weaken. Finally I fired my two remaining shots into the spot where I thought his heart must be. The thick blood welled out of him like red velvet, but still he did not die. His body did not even jerk when the shots hit him, the tortured breathing continued without a pause. He was dying, very slowly and in great agony, but in some world remote from me where not even a bullet could damage him further. I felt that I had got to put an end to that dreadful noise. It seemed dreadful to see the great beast lying there, powerless to move and yet powerless to die, and not even to be able to finish him. I sent back for my small rifle and poured shot after shot into his heart and down his throat. They seemed to make no impression. The tortured gasps continued as steadily as the ticking of a clock.

“In the end I could not stand it any longer and went away. I heard later that it took him half an hour to die. Burmans were arriving with dahs and baskets even before I left, and I was told they had stripped his body almost to the bones by the afternoon.



I am rather disgusted with any mind that could ever concieve that this bear's death was necessary. It is, I believe, a case of "If all you've got is a hammer, all you see are nails."

It is very, very sad.

[ 01 August 2004: Message edited by: Hephaestion ]


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 01 August 2004 04:45 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, Heph, I saw where this was headed and I just couldn't read it. The bear-god will bless him and keep him. *tears*
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Agent 204
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posted 01 August 2004 04:45 PM      Profile for Agent 204   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Christ. Couldn't they have used a tranquilizer dart? Don't they have those sorts of things in bear country for that very reason?

But then, this way the cop got to show how tough he was. I guess that's the important thing.


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Hephaestion
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posted 01 August 2004 05:09 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mike Keenan:
Christ. Couldn't they have used a tranquilizer dart? Don't they have those sorts of things in bear country for that very reason?

But then, this way the cop got to show how tough he was. I guess that's the important thing.



There's not enough conservation officers any more, and the ones that are left have enormous territories to cover. Federal Liberal and Provincial "Liberal" cutbacks, don'tcha know. The Bottom Line. Gotta pay for those 2010 Olympics somehow, y'know!

So the cops take up the slack, particularly in areas where there's not much real "crime" to keep 'em busy. And when most cops see a bear, they do one thing... same as Orwell did.

My paper is doing a story on this, and I will provide a link to the article when it comes out (Wednesday). There are a **LOT** of pissed-off people here!


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angrymonkey
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posted 04 August 2004 03:14 AM      Profile for angrymonkey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, I'm starting to wonder the ratio of bullets/darts used to solve animal problems. I've heard a few stories this year where the animal seemed to be passive but it was killed.I wonder how these situations are decided and what do they do in places like Banff?
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mighty brutus
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posted 04 August 2004 12:09 PM      Profile for mighty brutus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Very sad. I would have been very traumatized had I been there.
I disagree with the un-necessary killing of animals and the cutbacks in Wildlife Enforcement--BUT!--there may be another side to the story. I heard a report that people at the jazz festival ignored warnings to stay away from the bear. Can anyone confirm or refute this?

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Jingles
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posted 04 August 2004 12:19 PM      Profile for Jingles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Then the cop should have shot the people at the jazz festival to protect the bear.
From: At the Delta of the Alpha and the Omega | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 04 August 2004 12:26 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've been a party to one bear kill in my life.

When I was working in the far northwest of BC ( west of both the Iskut river and highway 37), my geophysics crew was stalked by a very large (890+ punds) grizzly for two days.

He was constantly within about 100 meters of the crew. On the second day, he charged the line and got the pack of one of the guys.

We didn't have a choice at that point.

Despite the fact that he was obviously a danger to us, no-one was very happy about the situation.

Poor fella.

[ 04 August 2004: Message edited by: HeywoodFloyd ]


From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
angrymonkey
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posted 04 August 2004 01:00 PM      Profile for angrymonkey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You guys should have been wearing Project Grizzly suits.
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Loony Bin
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posted 04 August 2004 01:01 PM      Profile for Loony Bin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My uncle was deputy minister for Environment and Resources up in the Yukon a while ago and during that time, park rangers had to kill a bear that persisted in visiting some town or other. So my uncle had it stuffed and now it stands in the minister's office.

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ddunne
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posted 05 August 2004 01:44 AM      Profile for ddunne     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Get the facts: the bear was in the campground the night before, and had been in the trash cans of the houses up on the hill behind the campground in recent days.

The animal was comfortable wandering within (the smell and sight) of 1500 people.

Relocation of this animal would have been futile - it had learned that where there's people, there's food.

The terrible part of this episode was that the officer didn't get in a clean shot; the animal should not have had to be put through such an ordeal and the people there for the festival should not have been forced to witness it.

I'm grateful for the RCMP's intervention, and fully support the actions of the festival management.


From: Liberty Lake, WA | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 06 August 2004 08:27 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mighty brutus:
Very sad. I would have been very traumatized had I been there.
I disagree with the un-necessary killing of animals and the cutbacks in Wildlife Enforcement--BUT!--there may be another side to the story. I heard a report that people at the jazz festival ignored warnings to stay away from the bear. Can anyone confirm or refute this?

This is the text of a press release issued by the Valhalla Wilderness Society concerning the incident. Wayne McCrory, who is mentioned in the release, is an internationally-known and well-respected biologist and bear expert...

quote:

Valhalla Wilderness Society
Box 329, New Denver, British Columbia, Canada V0G 1S0,
Phone (250) 358-2333, FAX: (250) 358-7950,
e-mail: vws@vws.org,
Web site: http://www.vws.org, http://www.savespiritbear.org

PRESS RELEASE

August 2, 2004

KASLO JAZZ FESTIVAL CRASHED BY BEAR KILLING

According to the eye-witness accounts, well-known Jazz musician Jeff Healey was just starting his repertoire on the grand stand at Kaslo’s famous summer music fest on the shores of Kootenay Lake Saturday evening when several shots were fired. Then a small black bear came running along the beach in front of a the crowd of 2000 people, dragging its bleeding hind leg, with its entrails hanging out. The bear entered the lake, swam out and died. The music had stopped. One woman saw the RCMP shoot bear right in front of people and close to her children. The crowd became angry but no one came down to move the bear. Someone in the crowd tried to drag its small, floating carcass away with a canoe. Many revelers left in total disgust and outrage.

Earlier, people had observed the bear feeding in a cherry tree behind a fence on the hills above the Kaslo Bay Park, where one of Canada’s favourite jazzfests was on its first day. Some people went to photograph the bear and apparently let their children too close.

After the shooting, The Valhalla Wilderness Society was contacted by a very upset caller. We contacted Kaslo RCMP. The RCMP had searched for the bear with the game officer the day before to try to tranquilize and relocate it but could not find the bear. The bear returned Saturday after the Fish and Wildlife official had left with his tranquilizer gun. The RCMP decided to shoot the bear near the crowd of people because they felt it might maul someone.

Bear expert Wayne McCrory feels it was a grave mistake to shoot the bear under the circumstances and so close to the public. The officials should have sealed off the area and kept people out and let the bear leave or "haze" it away. McCrory does not feel the bear would have been any threat to the public if they had just been kept away.

“People got to see first hand how our bear problems are gruesomely treated all the time under provincial policy” stated McCrory. “The real problem is provincial policy and government cutbacks. The conservation officer service is understaffed and neither they nor the RCMP are adequately trained in non-lethal techniques or have the man-power to deal with bear situations. The B.C. solution for black bears is almost always the bullet.”

VWS biologist Erica Mallam says that last year 254 black bears and 18 grizzlies were shot in the East Kootenays and West Kootenay/Boundary regions. “There have been a number of cases where the RCMP’s aim was atrocious, requiring multiple shots to kill the bears, which suffered terribly. I hope those who saw it will tell the newspapers, the RCMP and the government how they feel about it.”

Biologists McCrory and Mallam are calling for an official independent inquiry into the bear killing at the Jazzfest. As well, they are asking for training of all RCMP and conservation officers in non-lethal techniques to deal with bear-human conflict situations including hazing with dogs and use of appropriate negative conditioning rather than killing bears that are mistakenly perceived as threats to public safety.

“Under its cutback programs, the provincial government has down-loaded bear problems onto communities and the local RCMP and this is the end result.” states McCrory. “The other community problem of course is the lack of bear-proofing of garbage attractants and there is hardly any enforcement of the law by conservation officers on this. Unless the province started ticketing people who leave food and garbage accessible to wild bears and also invests in dedicated bear specialists trained in non-lethal techniques this unnecessary killing will just go on and on. It’s a black hole for bears and a sad reflection of our society”.


[ 06 August 2004: Message edited by: Hephaestion ]


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
mighty brutus
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posted 06 August 2004 10:41 AM      Profile for mighty brutus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks, heph!
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BleedingHeart
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posted 06 August 2004 11:49 AM      Profile for BleedingHeart   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Apparently if you pepper spray habituated bears, they don't return. (Humans are less smart)

quote:
Originally posted by ddunne:
Get the facts: the bear was in the campground the night before, and had been in the trash cans of the houses up on the hill behind the campground in recent days.

The animal was comfortable wandering within (the smell and sight) of 1500 people.

Relocation of this animal would have been futile - it had learned that where there's people, there's food.

The terrible part of this episode was that the officer didn't get in a clean shot; the animal should not have had to be put through such an ordeal and the people there for the festival should not have been forced to witness it.

I'm grateful for the RCMP's intervention, and fully support the actions of the festival management.



From: Kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 07 August 2004 09:00 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'd like to know why cops in "bear territory" such as this do not have tranquilizer guns as part of their standard equipment in the office, for cases just such as this.

If Campbell is going to slash funding for conservation officers, the least he could do is provide the cops with the tools to do the job properly— they're having to do it anyway.

[ 07 August 2004: Message edited by: Hephaestion ]


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 07 August 2004 09:03 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Members of the public float flowers out onto the blood-stained water of Kootenay Lake.



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Hailey
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posted 07 August 2004 09:16 PM      Profile for Hailey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's a bear.
From: candyland | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 07 August 2004 09:25 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And your point is?

Renzo is a tomcat.

I'm a human (adult female).

We're all mammals.

Edited to add:

I'm not religious, but you claim to be; methinks you need a dose of St. Francis, patron of ecology and animals: http://www.appleseeds.org/canticle.htm
and not just cute, "harmless" animals: St. Francis and the Wolf of Gubbio.

[ 07 August 2004: Message edited by: lagatta ]


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 07 August 2004 09:39 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Hailey:
It's a bear.

Have you ever seen a bear close-up, Hailey? I have, lots of times. I've been so close to one I could have touched her (I didn't) and all she did was sniff me.

I originally posted this over at the 365 forum. It might help you understand where I'm coming from.

quote:

Thanks guys. I know it seems kinda silly to get upset over one little bear, but.... damn! I luv bears so much.

I camped during the summer at the ghost town I worked at for several years, and I had a couple of bears who used to come around and visit me regularly. I never fed them— that's just stupid, to do that— but they still came by regularly in the evening, after the tourists were gone, or else really early in the morning, before the tourists started to come by.

They were my friends, those bears, and they never *once* in four summers trashed my campsite. They avoided contact with other people, but they were *used* to me, so I didn't bother them. (And they never bothered me.) And when the ginger-coloured one had cubs, the second year, she came by with them to my campsite, almost like she was "showing them off" to me. And I watched her, early in the mornings, standing in water up to her "elbows," teaching those cubs how to fish out of the creek. And how gawddamn clumsy and silly they were at it at first, and how hard they made me laff.

And when I think of that yearling bear the cop shot, I can't help thinking about "my bears," and it makes me sad. I know, I know... it's silly. But thanks for the kind thoughts, anyways. Hugz to Jack and Jae, too.


Just remember, Hailey... the bears were here thousands of years before us. We are trespassing in THEIR traditional home.

As interlopers, we should show far more respect than we do.

~~~~~~~~

Edited to add: Thanks lagatta. I'll check out those links later. I don't think one needs "religion" to appreciate our magnificent wildlife (although I did once have a first nations lover tell me, based on my dreams, that my "spirit animal" was a bear. I dunno, but I will say that I have always had an affinity for bears, ever since I was a small child.)

[ 07 August 2004: Message edited by: Hephaestion ]


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Hailey
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posted 08 August 2004 12:27 AM      Profile for Hailey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Have you ever seen a bear close-up, Hailey? I have, lots of times. I've been so close to one I could have touched her (I didn't) and all she did was sniff me....I worked at for several years, and I had a couple of bears who used to come around and visit me regularly....They were my friends, those bears, and they never *once* in four summers trashed my campsite. They avoided contact with other people, but they were *used* to me....And when the ginger-coloured one had cubs, the second year, she came by with them to my campsite, almost like she was "showing them off" to me.
Just remember, Hailey... the bears were here thousands of years before us. We are trespassing in THEIR traditional home. I don't think one needs "religion" to appreciate our magnificent wildlife (although I did once have a first nations lover tell me, based on my dreams, that my "spirit animal" was a bear. I dunno, but I will say that I have always had an affinity for bears, ever since I was a small child.)

Sorry, I should have refrained from commenting. You seem legitimately sad and I don't want to add to any negative emotions.

Yes, I've been close to a bear (physically, not emotionally).

Quite simply I can't see myself forming the impression that a bear was my "visitor", that they were my "friends", or that they brought their cubs over to show them off or introduce them to me.

I don't know that the order of arrival is something that would make me not defend myself. I'd defend myself.

Just generally I think we've come to a place in our society where many people care more about animals than children or people in general.

Animals are animals. People are people. At least that's my value system.


From: candyland | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 08 August 2004 01:46 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hate to burst yer bubble there, Hailey, but people ARE animals. And they are virtually the only one that kills "for sport."

Or, as Mark Twain put it so well, "Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to."

~~~~~~~~~~~

By the way, you say "legitimately sad"... as opposed to, one presumes, illegitimately sad???

[ 08 August 2004: Message edited by: Hephaestion ]


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Jingles
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posted 08 August 2004 01:59 AM      Profile for Jingles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Animals are animals. People are people. At least that's my value system.

That's not a value system. That is ignorance.

People are animals. Understand? We are not above and outside of nature. Animals are not our servants. We are slowly recognizing that the "value system" you follow, where humans occupy a privileged realm separate from mere animals, will ultimately lead to our own extinction.

I can't bite my tongue anymore. When you say, as you did on another thread, that motherhood would be the apex of your existence, what you are saying is that fullfilling your basic animal biological funcion of reproduction is the only reason for existing at all. How is that different from a tapeworm?

quote:
Just generally I think we've come to a place in our society where many people care more about animals than children or people in general.

I have never seen a deer shoot a guy in a pickup. I have never seen a cougar clearcut a mountainside to build luxury condos and a skihill. No bear has ever used human gall bladder as an aphrodesiac, and salmon have the common courtesy to die after mating to provide nutrients for the next generation. You love your truck.

Humans are parasites. We are brutal and stupid creatures who foul our own nests. We have, in the short time we've been around, managed to cause the third biggest extinction event in the planets long history.

It isn't just a bear. It's the whole goddamn package.

[ 08 August 2004: Message edited by: Jingles ]


From: At the Delta of the Alpha and the Omega | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Hailey
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posted 08 August 2004 02:21 AM      Profile for Hailey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I can't bite my tongue anymore. When you say, as you did on another thread, that motherhood would be the apex of your existence, what you are saying is that fullfilling your basic animal biological funcion of reproduction is the only reason for existing at all. How is that different from a tapeworm?

You don't have to bite your tongue, feel free to express yourself. If your value system leads you to believe that the conception, birth and upbringing of a child is equivalent to tapeworm then that's fine.

And, yes, being a mother for me will be a time of great joy. Not the pregnancy and childbirth aspect so much as the whole experience of raising another little human being. My relationship with my mother and father is amazingly positive filled with unconditional love. I think to re-create that kind of bond with another person will be incredulous.

I think most women who have had children would identify parenting positively. There are women who are even feminists who speak in glowing terms about their children. It's not an idea that is restricted to traditional women.


From: candyland | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Jingles
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posted 08 August 2004 02:26 AM      Profile for Jingles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
whoosh
From: At the Delta of the Alpha and the Omega | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
wei-chi
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posted 08 August 2004 04:07 AM      Profile for wei-chi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, doesn't seem very necessary to have shot the bear. I can't say I'm torn up over it. Or that is to say I'd definately be upset if the bear *had* injured someone. But there doesn't seem to have been any need to shoot it.

Perhaps the festival can be retooled to have less of an impact on the local wildlife and environment.


From: Saskatoon | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 08 August 2004 06:00 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm on Jingles side here. Human beings can be compared to rabbits in Australia— they BREED LIKE RATS.

Sorry for the "slap in the face" Hailey, but you goddamn well need it. You want a kid? Adopt one. There's thousands born every year that need a loving and caring home. Oh, that's right— tou need to have "your own" in order to feel "fulfilled as a woman." Give me a fucking BREAK!!!

You are being totally selfish and short-sighted here. Jingles said:

quote:

I can't bite my tongue anymore. When you say, as you did on another thread, that motherhood would be the apex of your existence, what you are saying is that fullfilling your basic animal biological funcion of reproduction is the only reason for existing at all. How is that different from a tapeworm?

I like his comparison of a kid to a tapeworm, same as I compare humans' breeding rates to rats (or rabbits). The biggest threat to the planet right now, hailey, is US. Homo Sapiens. As a "non breeder" I can see this objectively. You, who sees the "apex of your existence" as motherhood, cannot.

It's late and I'm not going to belabour the point, but the biggest threat to the survival of the human race that is cooped up on one planet is fertile females who insist that they "aren't fulfilled" until they've churned out yet another kid.

Right. What this planet needs is more kids. Right.


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
wei-chi
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posted 08 August 2004 06:18 AM      Profile for wei-chi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I wonder what bear tastes like...bison I bet...nevermind. I've lost how this has to do with bears...

I don't know what the hell Hailey is babbling about, and as much as the Heph/Jingles smart-ass comment about people being animals is undeniably true, they're both coming off like insane hollow-caustic eco-terrorists who'd prefer to see humanity extinct than see Gaia shed one more tear. Surely that's not the "value-system" offered in opposition to Hailey's "ignorance"?


From: Saskatoon | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 08 August 2004 10:15 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, as I awake I've seen that "emotions ran high" (return to other thread on snappy babble....). Heph, I don't have children either (in my case not due to my sexual orientation but because I never wanted any; I wanted to be an artist instead - in my generation it was very much an "instead". But "breeders" is really an offensive term, and should not be used on a progressive board any more than offensive terms for gay people should. It shows a distaste for things of the flesh.

Actually, (in part due to the women's movement and greater education for girls, and not just in the rich countries) there has been a significant DOWNTURN in the human population explosion. The problem nowadays is not so much population growth as the growth of conspicuous consumption (trucks, monster homes etc.) among the richer peoples on the planet, and the spread of this heretofore North American/Western European phenom to parts of Asia, for example.

Humans are animals, and we should be happy we are - but it does not mean we are the same as tapeworms as we do have more of a capacity to reason - and have to avail ourselves of it.

But I do think that it is clear that in many other posts Heph has shown himself to care very much about people - not just "humankind" in the abstract, but specific people facing oppression and violence.

I have a hard time addressing Hailey because I do find her ideas repugnant - and no, not because they are faith-based; I know a lot of people who believe deeply in their religious faith who see the environment as a blessing from God and that humans, with our supposed capacity for reason, have a duty to protect it. It is strange to believe in a God and appear so unconcerned for the God's other creatures great and small...


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Agent 204
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posted 08 August 2004 10:15 AM      Profile for Agent 204   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I know what you mean, wei-chi. But we do have to restrain ourselves. Unfortunately that's something that no other animal, plant, or microorganism has done. Fortunately, the same brains that have gotten us into this mess just might allow us to do it.

One of the biggest mass extinctions ever is thought to have occurred when photosynthesis first appeared. Before that, all that existed were anaerobic bacteria. When photosynthesis appeared, it gave the photosynthetic bacteria a big advantage over the others... but also released a toxic by-product (oxygen) into the atmosphere. Vast numbers of microorganisms, probably including some of the ones that had gained a short-term advantage by becoming photosynthetic, were wiped out. Others adapted (and were able to make use of the oxygen to extract more energy from food).

The difference between us and those germs is that we're at least somewhat capable of recognizing what we're doing, and maybe we can impose restraints on ourselves. Limiting ourselves to a maximum of two children would be a good start (I don't take the hardline approach that having any kids is unacceptable; replacing ourselves is fair game). Also, we have to cut back on energy consumption so as to produce fewer nasty byproducts. It's tough, but I still am optimistic enough to think that we're smarter than germs.

[ 08 August 2004: Message edited by: Mike Keenan ]


From: home of the Guess Who | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Hailey
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posted 08 August 2004 11:46 AM      Profile for Hailey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Sorry for the "slap in the face" Hailey, but you g-----n well need it. You want a kid? Adopt one. There's thousands born every year that need a loving and caring home. Oh, that's right— tou need to have "your own" in order to feel "fulfilled as a woman." Give me a f-----g BREAK!!!I like his comparison of a kid to a tapeworm, same as I compare humans' breeding rates to rats (or rabbits). The biggest threat to the planet right now, hailey, is US. Homo Sapiens. As a "non breeder" I can see this objectively. You, who sees the "apex of your existence" as motherhood, cannot....the biggest threat to the survival of the human race that is cooped up on one planet is fertile females who insist that they "aren't fulfilled" until they've churned out yet another kid. What this planet needs is more kids. Right.

I plan to adopt. I also plan to give birth. They will both be decisions that will bring joy to our lives. We have already put ourselves in to have the home study done but we've been told in advance that we will put on "hold" until our circumstances match what they are looking for. Right now we are working on having a family the old-fashioned way.

I've never criticized your decision not to "breed" and assure you I won't. I don't think that every person needs to be a parent or wants to be a parent or should be a parent.

I don't consider a baby "tapeworm" or a "threat" and I don't really know how to comment on that. I think children are the most beautiful entity imaginable.

You've offered a lot of clarity though. You are a pro-choice person who demeans motherood, refers to infants and children as "threats" and compares a child to "tapeworm". You are a prochoice person who wants to control women's childbearing decisions for the purpose of limiting children being born. I must say I am a bit surprised. I'm not surprised that those are the values and beliefs of the prochoice just that you have spoken them with such candor. It's my perception that many people resist those characterizations and defend the movement as not being inclusive of such ideas for fear it would vary public support for their causes. I have LONG believed that the movement is about not wanting children to be born and about encouraging women to do "better things" than being a mother. And despite any admonishment you receive do not stop using the word breeder. Certainly, it will rub some people the wrong way at times but it also helps people have an honest understanding of what the whole movement is about.

There is nothing that I can say that will make you change your mind about children and parenting and, certainly, that's vice versa but your honesty is refreshing.

I'm going to let the thread get back to bears though.

quote:
It is strange to believe in a God and appear so unconcerned for the God's other creatures great and small...

My dogs have the bestlife. You can't imagine more spoiled catered to much loved animals. Everyone is forever telling me "They are not kids, Hailey". They sleep on our bed, have their own chairs, are not allowed to sit on the floor, have lots of clothes, and get lots of cuddle time.

At the end of the day though I believe there is an inherent difference in the value of an animal and a child. Two years ago one of my dogs died in a motor vehicle accident. I was heartbroken and so so saddened at the gruesome manner that he had to die in. I thought I'd never stop crying (I know, I'm a big baby). My sister died several months after that and it re-defined for me what heartbroken was. It far surpassed anything that I had previously experienced.

The bottom line, for me, is that humans and other animals are different. On some level I think most people acknowledge that humans hold more value.

[ 08 August 2004: Message edited by: Hailey ]


From: candyland | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hailey
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posted 08 August 2004 12:11 PM      Profile for Hailey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
error

[ 08 August 2004: Message edited by: Hailey ]


From: candyland | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Polunatic
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posted 08 August 2004 12:22 PM      Profile for Polunatic   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
There are women who are even feminists who speak in glowing terms about their children.
Wow. I'm shocked. You learn something new every day. That kind of talk could get you banned over at FD.

From: middle of nowhere | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 08 August 2004 12:27 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Worse, Non-p p. I know of some MEN on babble who call themselves feminists and STILL speak of their children in glowing terms. What is the world coming to?
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Hailey
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posted 08 August 2004 12:30 PM      Profile for Hailey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That wasn't meant negatively or sarcastically. There's a common perception in certain religious circles that feminists devalue motherhood to the point that they don't cherish and enjoy their own children. I'm saying, genuinely, that I don't think that that is generically true. I've met feminists that speak positively about their own.
From: candyland | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 08 August 2004 12:35 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It is not the least bit true, Hailey. It is ignorant and superstitious.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 08 August 2004 12:41 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think that "common perception" in religious circles has about as much weight as the idea that
Christians care only about their God, and therefore neglect their children.

From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
1st Person
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posted 08 August 2004 01:42 PM      Profile for 1st Person        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The press release from the environmental group posted by Hephaestion makes the most sense: proper training and equipment for police and conservation officers.

It's hardly the fault of the officer that he is provided with neither. We all know that bears who get used to being close to humans can attack and kill. This bear was close to people and children. The officer undoubtedly thought that he was doing the right thing at the time. The crowd's taunts and comments such as the one from Mike Keenan here are completely idiotic.


From: Kingston | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Polunatic
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posted 08 August 2004 02:30 PM      Profile for Polunatic   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
There's a common perception in certain religious circles that feminists devalue motherhood to the point that they don't cherish and enjoy their own children.
They're right. We affectionately refer to our children as the unaborted as in "you're such an unaborted cutie-pie" or "would you be an unaborted dear and go to the store and pick up some milk." Or when we get angry at them we might say, "you should have been aborted". Of course abortion is our first choice but sometimes we're too busy bashing men or taking their jobs and the babies get born.

From: middle of nowhere | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Black Dog
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posted 09 August 2004 01:00 PM      Profile for Black Dog   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I don't consider a baby "tapeworm" or a "threat" and I don't really know how to comment on that. I think children are the most beautiful entity imaginable.

Problem is those bouncy little poop-machines grow up into bear-shooting, clear-cutting, carpet-bombing, SUV-driving adults. Parasites.

As for Heph, I agree with much of what he's saying, but I don't think he speaks for the "prochoice movement", any more than you speak for...whatever the hell it is you are.

quote:
The bottom line, for me, is that humans and other animals are different. On some level I think most people acknowledge that humans hold more value.

The bear wasn't threataning anyone. It's only crime was getting to close to people who were in the bear's backyard. This is a case of humans completely failing to use the big brains evolution has given us.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Jo Jo
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posted 09 August 2004 11:43 PM      Profile for Jo Jo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I live not too far from Kaslo and was at the Jazz Festival the day after the unfortunate killing of the bear. Which is really neither here nor there.

What I wanted to say is that those of us who live in bear country are expected (and damn well should) do everything in our power not to create a situation where a bear will be in danger of being destroyed. Like pick the fruit off of trees, keep your garbage well contained, etc, etc. We are living in their place and need to curtail our activities to respect them. Actually I think that pertains to all wild animals, not just bears.

I wonder, why didn't anyone pick the cherries off of the tree? Were the campers and vendors taking precautions to minimize the potential for a bear to become too familiar?

It seems to me that the humans (and not the RCMP officers who ended up in the horrible position of having to shoot the bear - anyone who thinks they really got off on doing it should give their head a shake) can take responsibility for this.

It is not easy living close to wild animals. You can't just do whatever you like. Low impact takes work, it doesn't just happen because we wish it to be so. Maybe the festival will need to move to another venue in order to avoid this kind of thing happening in the future.

And by the way, I also support the government increasing funding to hire more conservation officers.

It is just so sad. It seems like if we point the finger and blame someone else then we don't have to take any personal responsibility for our own actions.


From: BC | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Agent 204
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posted 09 August 2004 11:56 PM      Profile for Agent 204   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Interesting point, Jo Jo. What you said should be obvious, but a lot of people seem to need it pointed out to them.
From: home of the Guess Who | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 10 August 2004 12:40 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Lagatta—

quote:
Originally posted by lagatta:
But "breeders" is really an offensive term, and should not be used on a progressive board any more than offensive terms for gay people should. It shows a distaste for things of the flesh.


To be totally accurate, I referred to myself as a "non-breeder", but your point is still valid. I won't edit the term out of my post, but I will officially retract it. I guess I should have said "as a childless person who has no desire in a million years to father a child, despite the fact that I do not despise children in general."

quote:

Actually, (in part due to the women's movement and greater education for girls, and not just in the rich countries) there has been a significant DOWNTURN in the human population explosion. The problem nowadays is not so much population growth as the growth of conspicuous consumption (trucks, monster homes etc.) among the richer peoples on the planet, and the spread of this heretofore North American/Western European phenom to parts of Asia, for example.

I agree, and you might note that I said the biggest threat to the planet is US. I should have been more clear, but what I meant was not simply the birth rate, but as you noted above, the disastrous consequences of our polluting, throw-away society mentality. And despite any downturns, the overall population rate continues to increase. Recently, I heard on CBC Radio that India's population is climbing at such a rate that it is soon expected to surpass China's. Not so much because China's is falling (it's actually kind of levelled off, apparently) but because India's continues to climb.

Granted, the Indians are not the ones with all the SUV's etc. that are fucking up the planet. But, as their population gradually grows more affluent (and it is), they want more material goods, such as refrigerators, cars, etc. etc. (Who's to blame them?) But that all means ever-increasing amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere, pollutants in the water, and on and on. I've got nothing against kids. But more kids mean more demands for more resources out of a steadily shrinking pool. And we seem blind to all this in North America.

A couple of weeks ago, I was up to the top of a mountain in the area. I like to go to that particular one because it's not as "well-known" to the tourists, and you can't actually drive almost all the way to the top, like you can with one other in the area. That one (that you can drive) often gets several hundred people a day at the peak. The thin alpine soil is being irreparably damaged, wildflowers are being ripped out by the roots by people who want to "take home a souvenir", and the wildlife has almost all been driven from the mountain. It makes me sick.

But to return to this other mountain.... You actually have to get out of your vehicle and hike to get up into the "high country." And I love it up there, It's so peaceful and serene. The only sounds you can hear are the crows, or a Stellar's Jay, the burbling of a creek as it rushes down over the rocks, sometimes you can see a bear, or even a cougar. A short hike will take me to old, ruined mine buildings from over a century ago. They are slowly collapsing into the ground, but are currently inhabited by packrats and other small creatures. I even saw a coyote lurking around the old blacksmith's shop last summer. Nature is gradually reclaiming her own from the encroachments of man.... It's one of the few places the animals have left, and it's beautiful. And I am jealously protective of it.

I have only ever taken a handful of people up there, people who have the same respect and reverence for the unspoiled areas that I do. We never bring a vehicle beyond the base of the mountain, and always hike to the top. On this trip, I had my dear friend Jeremy along, as he was out visiting on holidays. We started early, and it took us the better part of the morning to get to the top. We had a lunch at the peak, took some pictures, had a little "special time" to ourselves, and were on our way back down, when I heard the unmistakable racket of ATVs.

I was appalled. I ran to the edge of the ridge and looked over, and I could see five or six people on ATVs below, "burning donuts" (driving rapidly in short circles) in the small alpine meadow below. Tearing up the thin turf, leaving ugly black scars in their wake. I was incensed, and started screaming curses at them. I even managed to get a few rocks thrown in their general direction before Jeremy ran over and restrained me. But the ATV-ers had noticed us, and drove off downhill, laughing and waving and tearing up more of the fragile alpine terrain.

We had to take a round-about way down, but I eventually found where they had crossed a deep drop with their ATVs to get into the "high country." Thanks to a fallen log, it is normally passable on foot, but not with a vehicle. They had built a bridge, out of milled lumber— which they must have brought with them— over the small chasm. I took it apart as much as I was able, using rocks to pound the pieces of wood apart. Then I threw the wreckage of their bridge into the chasm. And then, sad as it made me, I kicked the fallen log in, too.

Yes, I know they can rebuild their bridge, anyway. And I know I can't stop them all. They'll be back. And they'll fuck that place up too, just like they've done with all the others. It makes me grieve for the animals, and builds a black anger in me toward my own rapacious species. That was kind of where I was coming from when I wrote that last piece. Frustration at the never-ending, relentless pressure on the few remaining areas the animals have left. Are we only going to be satisfied when all we've got left are a few pathetic remnants in our zoos?

Sorry if I'm coming across like someone who cares more about animals than people, Hailey— I care about people, too. It's just that sometimes they disgust me, and I get fed up with them. Bears and coyotes are easier to understand, and to deal with.

As a post-script, I ran into one of the ATV-ers in town, later. He came up and demanded to know "who the hell I thought I was", throwing rocks at his group. I asked him who he thought HE was, taking motorized vehicles into such fragile territory. He replied that he was "a war veteran who fought on YOUR behalf, sonny" and that at his age (mid-60s) it was his only practical way to get up into the peaks any more. He basically inferred that it was his right to do so, and then threatened to pop me one.

I wanted to pop him myself, but I held my temper and answered that, for his information, I have extreme scoliosis in my spine and a prosthetic leg. I said "I manage to drag my sorry carcass up that mountain under my own steam, and the day I am no longer able to, I won't go. You have no 'right' to be up there, especially if you're going to fuck it up for others who appreciate it for exactly what it is." At that point Jeremy stepped in and dragged me away. It was probably a good thing he did.

But maybe now, Hailey, you have some appreciation where I'm coming from. Yes, sometimes I do care more about people than animals. (And pleeeeeease don't compare these magnificent wild creatures with your pampered domesticated mutts. They are worlds apart.)

I won't apologize for caring about the bear, and the deer and the birds. They need someone to speak up for them before their habitat is obliterated. That's why my limited donation dollars usually go to that kind of cause, and not something to benefit homo sapiens. Humans already have lots of advocates. The deer and the bear and the cougar and the coyote have too few.

So no, I make no apologies, Hailey. Except to Lagatta for an ill-chosen phrase.

[ 10 August 2004: Message edited by: Hephaestion ]


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Hailey
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posted 10 August 2004 02:02 AM      Profile for Hailey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You don't need to apologize to me. There's room in the world for more than one view. Not everyone sees the children in the same way.

You'd like my dogs though, they are sweethearts.

[ 10 August 2004: Message edited by: Hailey ]


From: candyland | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 10 August 2004 07:18 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Hailey:[QB]

You'd like my dogs though, they are sweethearts.


I'd probably prefer the coyotes.


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Lard Tunderin' Jeezus
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posted 10 August 2004 09:58 AM      Profile for Lard Tunderin' Jeezus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'd like to take what Jo Jo said a step further, and point out that the festival organisers should bear some responsibility for this killing. Why did they not pay for the services of a conservation officer, given the obvious possibility of a bear being drawn to the site? They likely paid for the RCMP's presence.
From: ... | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
John_D
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posted 21 September 2004 06:04 PM      Profile for John_D     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think 1st Person has at least half a point about not blaming the RCMP officer in question, that he was not properly trained. However, I don't agree that the crowd's reaction was "idiotic". We can't expect a police officer to know how to handle a bear, but we should expect them to be at least a little humane. Police training doesn't necessarily include wildlife handling, but it should include a basic respect for life and a willingness to look at non-violent solutions to problems if at all possible.
From: Workin' 9 to 2 in the 902. | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
arborman
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posted 22 September 2004 12:41 AM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Harsh reality, but if a bear is in a position to threaten a human, it has to be shot. Unless you wish to be that human...

I've met hundreds of bears, though I've been fortunate enough not to have to shoot any of them. Someone did shoot one on my behalf though, and I must admit I was grateful (the alternative being a mauling).

As I understand, people were approaching the bear, and doing all the things moronic, idiotic city assholes do when they encounter wild animals (i.e. assume they are in a zoo). While I was't there and can't be sure, I might have shot the bear myself, especially if people wouldn't leave it alone or go away.

Bears are usually not dangerous, but if they become used to humans they can become so. The bear likely wouldn't have hurt anyone at the festival, it would have been the 10 year old passing through 2 weeks later that would have been hurt, as a result of the stupid city fucks who think they are Grizzly Adams or something.

Bears are beautiful creatures, and should be left the hell alone. Definitely not, ever, approached, fed or encouraged to interact with humans in any way. Period. Doing so kills the bear, no matter how exceptional or special an experience people think they have with it beforehand.


From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 22 September 2004 01:42 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My Grandma once shot a bear.

She was a camp cook for the Dept. of Highways up near Beauval, and the bear was rummaging through their garbage.

She said they make a terrible wailing noise when shot.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Crimson
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posted 23 September 2004 03:01 AM      Profile for Crimson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Originally posted by ddunne:
quote:
The animal was comfortable wandering within (the smell and sight) of 1500 people.

Relocation of this animal would have been futile - it had learned that where there's people, there's food.


And us humans realized, at some point, that where there's a bear, there's bound to be land and resources to exploit. Relocation of said humans would've been futile, as they would simply find other lands and resources to exploit.

Sadly, humans have also been historically comfortable wandering around in bear territory...once they get rid of the bears, that is.


From: The bug sky | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Baldfresh
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posted 23 September 2004 11:54 PM      Profile for Baldfresh   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
More bear info

I've also seen recently a story about how some bears had gotten to the point where they are getting into people's homes and raiding their fridges, I kid you not. I know there is at least one account of a woman coming home to actually find the bear checking the expiration date on a carton of milk. Well, something like that at any rate. Couldn't find a link to the story, but it was fairly recent. Little help?


From: to here knows when | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 26 September 2004 11:59 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A thought experiment: What would hunting be like if the animals shot back?

(I suspect many hunters who show their bravado at killing another animal from long range would be a lot less willing to show off if their target could shoot back. Anybody can crow about killing an unarmed opponent.)


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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