Friday, October 2, 2009

Don't feed the wildlife

I am a firm believer in not feeding the wildlife but we all slip up sometimes...
Yesterday when we finished working and went to leave, this masked bandit crept out of our van. We had left one of the doors open, to easily access our tools and this little guy stole what was left of our lunch. He is enjoying a potato chip in these shots but he had already finished up a turkey sandwich... he tossed the tomatoes on the ground I guess he didn't like them.
We have regular visits from bears around here. I know that sounds scary to some people but we have grown quite used to it. The real problem with bears is people. People leave food out where they can get it and that's what bears live for... eating!
I have been the culprit at times... once I left the metal can I store bird seed in out all night and the next morning a big bear was sitting in the yard shoveling sunflower seeds into his mouth with a massive paw. Kevin shooed him off, it is never a problem they just leave. Last summer I had a bear that would sit and bathe in my tiny pond! On a few occasions I found my pond half empty and reddish brown fur floating in the water. I wished I had a motion sensor camera... that must have been a funny sight.

This Black Bear visited our neighbors house one winter. Our town has a pretty large bear population so we have very tricky dumpsters. That type of dumpster in the photo above is currently being replaced by even trickier ones because the bears have learned they can just lean on the latches till they bend. Here is a photo of this little guy trying to get onto my neighbors deck.He tried hard but couldn't make it.

We have had some recent incidents with people in our bear loving town. A couple of weeks ago a man picnicing at one of our beautiful lakes left food out and a bear strolled on down to have herself a snack. This happens a lot so there are bear proof boxes to store your food in at all of the campsites. This tourist decided the best thing to do was walk to his car and get his handgun. He shot the bear in the head and killed her in front of many other people enjoying the wilderness. He is claiming self defense but the witnesses say he was never threatened and he did go to his car and then back to where the bear was, he could have drove away if he was scared. He may be brought up on charges as he fired a gun within town limits. There was another similar incident last summer with a bow hunter. This summer the police found out that a woman from Southern California was paying a local person to leave 40 pound bags of dog food out to attract bears to her vacation home! So very stupid. These bears don't hurt anyone and all we need to do is keep our distance and stop the food source.
Isn't he sweet? He's just hungry.

We didn't feed these little guys anything, but I thought you might like this shot. Kevin went out one morning and he found these two baby squirrels squeaking and blindly creeping across the parking lot. Two of their siblings were killed by a cat and their mother was nowhere to be seen. We made them a cozy bed and called the rescue shelter. They were so soft and they had amazing "fingers" so long and nimble. Just adorable.
I didn't mean for this post to be so depressing... I guess the bear killings have really been bothering me. There have been more that I didn't mention. So sad.
Let's just keep our picnic baskets from Yogi and BooBoo...OK?


kaiolohiakids said...

I don't know if I'd ever get that comfortable with bears that close by!
If we leave food out the only thing we attract are ants & roaches! Maybe a bear wouldn't be so bad after all! Aloha!

Jennifer D said...



I'd take bears over ants and roaches anyday. To each his own, right?

DUTA said...

What a nice, informaive post! We don't have bears around here where I live . and from your description it doesn't seem they are so bad, after all.

Jennifer D said...

Thank you Duta- Bears are actually wonderful to watch,however if I lived in Grizzly country it would be a different story! :O)

PS- I am still having trouble leaving comments on your blog. I am going to try late at night, it might make a difference... I have a stone age dial up connection.
I have loved your last three posts.

Land of shimp said...

Jennifer, I hope they throw the book at that guy. The bear didn't deserve to be shot because of this nitwit's glaring lack of common sense.

Part of the problem with feeding wildlife is that it teaches the animals not to fear human beings, and sometimes tragedy ensues. There was a case up in Alaska where the town eccentric was finally stopped from feeding the bears, thank goodness. He really didn't seem to understand that in teaching the bears to associate a person with food, willingly given, he was actually endangering the heck out of their lives.

It was good of you to rescue the squirrels, and raccoons will be the crafty little thieves they are :-)

Erin said...

Thank you so much for speaking up for the animals - people are so upset by the wildlife in their backyards or recreational spaces... which are actually the animals' front yards. It always brings a smile to my face to rational people speaking out!