Another perspective: This is bear country

Posted: Monday, June 23, 2003

I recently read with much sympathy about the dog being taken out of its doghouse by a bear and subsequently dying. After reading the letter of complaint by the owner, I think another perspective should be mentioned.

They seem to forget that we live in bear country and a bear can perhaps be territorial or protective if it sees dogs in its neighborhood. The bear could also be hungry. If people are foolish enough to leave animals outside, unprotected, they can hardly complain if something happens to the animals. This is another case of animals being hurt because of people, and they want to compound the hurt by killing a bear who was only doing bear things.

I love dogs and would hate to see a bear taking my dog or having it be killed by another animal. I would never leave my dog outside in an unfenced yard at night in bear country. I would put up a fence or keep my dog in at night. The dog deserves protection from its owner and I don't think we should have to pay Fish and Game to cart traps around, have personnel watching them and generally punishing innocent wildlife.

The phrase "killer bear" is like "killer shark," always seemingly terrible but calling an animal a killer for simply finding food. Are we killer people for eating beef? Same thing. The only way this could have easily been a child, hiker, tourist or camper is if any of them were sitting at night in the backyard with the dogs.

S.L. Larson

Juneau



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