Thursday, August 21, 2008

A sad week in Anchorage

I cried in the middle of the coffee shop this morning when I read this article. I knew that on Tuesday they had shot and killed the mama bear that has been suspected of multiple maulings and charges in Far North Bicentennial Park. I knew that she had two cubs. I even knew that the cubs were out there on their own since Tuesday and were probably starving. But to find out that this is not the same bear that mauled the teenager in the bike race in June, just pushed me over the edge with this issue.

Did they kill the wrong bear? Or did they just kill one of the many bears that are in the park, confirming that this is not a "rogue" bear, and just a bear acting like a bear trying to protect her cubs. I have never supported the decision to hunt down and kill the sow. I'm sure a lot of people in Anchorage would disagree with me and they have, but I just didn't think this was the right answer to our problem. People just seem to want the problem to go away, and Americans think hey, "Let's get out our guns and shoot something, that'll solve it!" I have even heard one person say that human life is more valuable than any animals life. That animals don't mourn the loss of their family members like humans. Therefore, we should just shoot a couple of them and get our park back. Well tell that to the two cubs that have been left behind in this mess.

The thing is, I don't have any other ideas. I haven't been back to Rover's Run since the mauling at the bike race that night. Not because I'm particularly scared, but because it just doesn't seem like the best idea right now. There are plenty of other places for me to ride and run in Alaska.

I believe Fish and Game thought that they were doing the right thing, or were getting so much pressure from the people of Anchorage to do something about it that they had to make a decision. It's just sad that a mama brown bear had to die, and her cubs were left behind to fend for themselves or to go live out the rest of their lives in a cage. Don't even get me started on that subject.

Well, hey, now we can head back into the park and run and bike and never have to think about these bears again, right? I don't know about you but I haven't stopped thinking about them.

pictures downloaded from


Murray said...

It's a sad week, it's a sad summer in Anchorage. The latest bear shot is what, number 17 this year in the city? That's appalling. Yes, it's also sad when people get injured or killed - but what part of "Be Bear Aware" aren't people understanding? Staying safe isn't that tough, and killing 17, or 100 bears, isn't going to solve the problem - Nature hates a vacuum, and the empty space left by the bears killed will be filled by others who move from less productive areas. If people need to kill anything that may be a threat, perhaps Alaska isn't where they should live.

Anonymous said...

found your blog from that Dave Down Under.. and after reading this about the bears, my thoughts and feeling are very similar.. I live here in the Anchorage and do not run or ride the trails, nope not me. Thoughts of over eager Fished and Gamed Personnel too ready to shoot and kill with artillery enough to fight off an invasion of the masses of Wild Animals.. aight, a little snark I was there.. but I truley hope you get the intent. Also and plus, what Murray said, especially this 'but what part of 'Be Bear Aware' aren't people understanding?
oh heck, the whole message..

aight, glad I found your blog here..




Jennoit said...

Oh Julie...that makes me sad too. We're in *their* space, for crying out loud. I hate to think about her cubs :(