Sunday, May 23, 2010

What gun lethal injection for bear?

Apparently the Great Smoky Mountains Nat'l Park had signs up along the trails near Laurel Falls telling hikers to keep an eye out for bears, since one had been reported getting frisky after folks had been feeding it from their pic-a-nic baskets.

On the 17th, a hiker spotted the bear and, since it looked all cute and nature-like, decided to stick around and get some pictures.

Now, this was a southern Appalachian black bear sow, which means that she did not tip the scales at 1,600 pounds or even 600 pounds, but only weighed about 60 pounds. She was still a wild animal, albeit a short one, and when the budding Ansel Adams was trying to get her to make love to the camera, she did what short wild animals do, and bit him on the foot.

Unfortunately for the bear, aggravated tourist biting is a capital offense for bears in National Parks, and the bear, despite its five thousand fans on Facebook, was sent to the great Jellystone In The Sky last week.


Anonymous said...

Aggressive bear = hurt (vegetarian?)Yuppie.

I kinda like that equation.

George said...

How sad, and stupid. Maybe they should euthanize said photog for encrouching in the bear's domain?
This reminds me of people who move to the desert, then complain about the snakes and scorpions--who moved into whose neighborhood?

Tam said...

The bear situation in the Smokies is ticklish.

No hunting + suburban encroachment + day hikers who've watched too much Yogi & Boo-Boo = a booming population of black bears that have little to no fear of people.

rremington said...

Only a shame that the bear wasn't larger..... it would have once again proven Darwin correct.

As for hiking in the National Parks, that's why S&W invented the 329.

staghounds said...

Shame this sort of thing happens.

There ought to be some infallible way to block the bear.

(I had to. I AM the Duke of Obvious.)

Standard Mischief said...

>The bear situation in the Smokies is ticklish.

You got that right.

I'll never understand why the park rangers are willing to spend public money to spray against invasive species, or to spend taxpayer dollars to put up bluebird nesting boxes, or even to do controlled burns, destroying forests to better manage them (and again on the public dime), yet they refuse to have managed wildlife hunts that would -

1. Bring in cash
2. Save the bears
3. Save the public from injury.

I little hunting pressure would go a long way here.

Joseph said...

"Ohhhh, but it was so CUTE!!!"

Yeah, but it has teeth and claws and can hurt you. Do something stupid in the wild, and Mother Nature can kill you. The animal lover should get backhanded across the face 10 times after recovery.

staghounds said...

And seriously, an article about a facebook campaign without anything to help readers find the facebook page?


I suppose there isn't any reason, the only ones have told us what we need to know. Saves us the trouble of reading it ourselves, like we don't have to read the evil Arizona immigration law.

Thank you, wise gatekeepers!

Anonymous said...

"No hunting + suburban encroachment + day hikers who've watched too much Yogi & Boo-Boo = a booming population of black bears that have little to no fear of people."

That was the case when I lived in TN and visited the SMNP on a regular basis. That was 23+ years ago.

Annoyingly enough, twice in the past 8 years when me and my wife visited the area, we didn't see any bears at all.


Sarah said...

But hunting is BAD and CRUEL! Never mind that people are hurt/killed, the overpopulated species is suffering, etc....evil hunters! Bad guns! No! Think of the children!

Or something.

Matthew said...

Even hazing the things away from the more populated trails wouldn't hurt. Make them associate people with unpleasant loud noises and stinging impacts.

TJP said...

This is why they make lenses with focal lengths 400mm and longer.


On a Wing and a Whim said...

Aw, I guess they didn't have the guts to have a mini-Binky as a mascot.

Jeffro said...

"Oh, bother..."

Anonymous said...

They euthanized the wrong one; the hiker is "too dumb to live" and should be put down to limit his suffering.

Roberta X said...

Jeepers. It's one thing when the bear comes to your house to see if maybe you have thrown out anything tasty (that Pomeranian, for instance); something else when you go to the bear's house and don't have sense enough to skedaddle. I'm with the commenters who think the wrong critter got put down.

Alchemyst said...

I knew when I moved to my little part of heaven (Monroe County, TN) that it was bear country. My St. Bernard and I are still learning to co-exist. On many occasions I've seen a bear in my yard (they really like dog food) and are smart so keeping them and the dog food separate is a constant challenge. So far I haven't had to shoot one but I'm aware that it's a possibility. I reckon my point here is that I'm in complete agreement with commenters defending the bear. If you want to get close to nature as I did it's up to you to adjust. You're a damn fool if you expect nature to the same.

Tam said...


Part of the problem is that National Parks take the wilderness and try and turn it into Natureworld™, and the Smokies, being one of the biggest chunks of wilderness left in the East, is particularly bad for that.

When you go to Yellowstone, you know you're hell-and-gone in the boonies, but the Smokies are right next door to civilization. I mean, 20,000,000 people visit a year; it's like Six Flags Over Gaia, so what could go wrong?

Anonymous said...

I used to work for the NPS. Our chief ranger came from the Great Smoky Mountains. He was the reason many of us left the park I was at, as he ran it into the ground.

NPS administrators are gov't bureaucrats through and through, so once they make a decision, it's final and they won't turn back, no matter how stupid/bad it makes them look or how senseless it is. They are the poster children for Zero Tolerance.

Anonymous said...

All these nimrods (how the meaning of that title has gone on its head!) should have a cat to remind them of what sharp pointy claws feel like.

Then again if they display the depth of reasoning which we saw from numpty there, then there is probably no teaching them.


nbc said...

Think of the children!

I am, but mainly as bait.

Anonymous said...

Last month I was in the park catching brook trout far away from any park maintained trails and was sitting on a rock in the middle of the creek changing flies.I was looking up stream with the breeze in my face when I saw movement about 20 feet upstream.I got to watch the bear for about 10 seconds before it happened to glance in my direction and just vaporized along with the smaller one that had just emerged behind it.Funny how such a big critter can just dissapear like that.That is how almost all the bears I see in the Smoky mountains behave when they become aware of the presence of a human.I have never been "skeered" by the behavior of a bear except the ones that live around the areas close to where city slickers either pic-nic or go on their "nature experiences" that rarely take them farther than a couple a' football fields away from their vehicles.

Hunting in the park is not the solution,making folks accountable for their actions is.


Kristophr said...


Just why did you think that bear vanished?

Someone has made that bear fear humans. It's the ones that don't fear humans that need to be put down. Your hide was saved that day by hunting pressure on bears.

Hunting pressure will see to it that clueless city slickers don't get eaten.

sobriant74 said...

I'm not sure how the park rangers were able to stop laughing long enough to take down the bear. So..let me get this called a lil ol bear over and he bit you on the foot. Uh,..yeah..I'll get right on that.

Ed Foster said...

Sister #2 had to sell her house in Simsbury CT and move a few towns over, due in large part to bears ripping up her garden for snack time every few days.

She also runs a rescue service for Golden Retrievers, the sweetest, loyalest, dumbest critters around, all of whom wanted to go out in the yard and defend Mommy from the strange, smelly things. Yeah.

The bears would have been eating their salad before the main course arrived, of gold colored krunchies. I might give good odds on some of my old man's Dobermanns, working in teams, but not Goldens, the world's biggest lapdogs.

The hoot is all the rich limosine liberals next door in West Hartford. They move in to the Mountain Road area, one of the richest neighborhoods in the country, quite convinced that hunters are all named Billy-Bob and are married to their favorite sisters.

Then they see 5 or 10 grand of damage done to their landscaping in a single night by the herds of whitetail coming down off Avon Mountain like grazinhg cattle.

There are half a dozen auto/deer accidents a week throughout most of the year, tough on those Mercedeses and Boxters, climbing to several a day from late October through early December.

Then their kids wake up screaming in the middle of the night from Lyme disease, and end up with several months of painful treatment.

It's amazing how many of those folks end up supporting bowhunting in the north-east part of town.

Anonymous said...

Kristopher thanks for the laughter.I am sure you meant well and you may even believe what you typed.I never would have even saw the bear had I not been downwind,he fled for the same reason that the bears in the sanctuary on top of Flattop mountain in Yancey county N.C.flee humans and it is not because it had been hunted by man.


John said...

I'm a photographer and have a deep appreciation for nature. I also have the intelligence and wisdom to fully understand that wild means wild.

I thought for sure that molesting wildlife in National Parks and Forests was illegal. Maybe next time they should leave the wild animals and instead punish the ones that are capable of rational thought.

Matt G said...

Frankly, the smartest thing to do to keep Gaia-lovin' photographers from cuddling with bears is to bathe little BooBoo, give him a blow-dry, photograph him at his most tenderly cute moments just before killing him, and then putting up posters at the trailheads that say, "Don't make us off the little guys."

Was this an excercise in bad judgement all around? Sure. But make it worth something.

Kristophr said...

hootie11bravo: You are not correct, sir.

Those bears have been hunted hard since the 1700s.

It has taken a lot of stupid recent mistakes to undo that. Sanctuaries and parks are recent events, as far as natural selection is concerned.

Try not to let your bambi-ist religion blind you.

Anonymous said...

Kristopher tell the forkhorn buck I shot opening day of blackpowder season here in Blount county Tn and the two does I shot in December on our farm in Russell county Va about my bambi-ist religion.While you are communing with the dead might as well tell the turkey and the squirrels and grouse I killed in the Foothills WMA this season that they are not really dead either.Here in Blount county as well as most of the other counties that surround the GSMNP there are no shortage of public land for people to hunt bears and you know what?Bears on public land that are hunted hard but have access to garbage and other food sources such as bird feeders behave just like those pic nic raiding park bears.