Bear Attacks & Other Musings

KBAK Bakersfield Bear Attack Location PhotoLeft: Bear attack photo courtesy of the news source that covered the story of Allena Hansen on July 23, 2008.

Although I answered this question in the comment area a few posts ago, it was important enough for me to want to write another post about bear attacks and get into the bigger picture as related to some of the problems we are experiencing with wildlife.

Our society has really gotten way off track in relation to animals and nature. Today we think nothing of using the individually packaged items that pollute our earth and using toxic chemicals to clean and poison our environments.

In my lifetime we went from recycleable bottles and a few cleaning products to an insane plastic using society where we now use plastic in about everything from paper diapers to personal water bottles and have specialty cleaning products for just about everything.

When we upgrade our appliances and computers today we only find non-fixable, non-compatable components–right down to non-reusable and non-fixable clothing imported from countries that don’t value the humans that make them.

In my opinion, we have really made a mess that continues to negatively impact our environment and the animals in it.

I live on the edge of the wilderness and get sick of picking up the trash of those who visit our pristine forest, streams, and use the lake for recreation while they pollute the very areas of wilderness they access.

Then there are those who have this sick fascination or bizarre fantasies about animals…but that is for another rant.

Feeding wildlife has become a huge industry that also unfortunately habituates animals to humans and then when they act out–the critters are blamed for it.

There are humans who build in the remaining areas animals have been crammed into . I see more and more huge housing developments (or second homes) being built in pristine areas. Those residents fail to take precautions and fail to understand the risks that might be involved or to adapt their behavior around the existing wildlife.

So what does this have to do with the bear attack?

The bear attack on Allena Hansen occuried in a remote area on the fringe of a fire area. We experienced large fires here last year and as a result the wildlife has moved closer to (and into) human residential areas.

I’d be interested in knowing just what resources were on the property (food, trash, water) that would attract the bear. If the dogs had not distracted the bear she might have died.

Dogs can be a help or a hindrance and in Allena Hansen’s case they helped her to escape.  The DNA analysis revealed that the attack was by an American black bear.

Most people think that brown bears (such as Grizzlys) are more of a danger but predatory and other black bear attacks have been on the increase.

In fact, here is a page of some bear attacks and an article about the increase in black bear attacks from 2005 (PDF).

Unlike brown bears, if attacked by a black bear you need to fight back. If you like or hike in wilderness areas carry bear spray and make noise.

I have other articles on the topic on the Fawnskin Flyer where you can also pick up other valuable links.

What do you think about the increase in attacks–let me know below.

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