Wolf Song of Alaska News

People Who Entice Bears with Food will be to Blame for Anyone Mauled

Letters / Anchorage Daily News / July 7, 2007


Amazingly enough, I find myself agreeing with Alex Gimarc ("Fish and Game needs to manage bears effectively, not humans," June 25) that eventually someone in the Anchorage Bowl will be mauled or killed by a bear. But that's where our agreement ends.

The problem isn't bears, but people. We're supposedly the more intelligent species, but sometimes you have to wonder. Local residents have been told, over and over, that the danger from bears increases dramatically once they become food conditioned, which diminishes their natural wariness of humans. Yet too many people continue enticing bears with pet food, garbage, birdseed, etc. It's a wonder that local wildlife manager Rick Sinnott doesn't go ballistic more often, given the inconsiderate and potentially dangerous behavior of those Anchorage residents who are unwilling to take any sort of personal responsibility. Unless we exterminate them -- a choice Gimarc seems to prefer -- bears will always roam through Anchorage. Most of us consider that a delightful part of living here.

A couple of other points: Contrary to Gimarc's version of reality, the chance of dying from cancer caused by secondhand smoke is exponentially higher than being killed or even scratched by a bear. And Alaska's residents -- human and otherwise -- would be much better served if the Department of Fish and Game spent more time managing people and less time "intensively" managing wildlife through irresponsible programs like ever-expanding predator control, which most Alaskans oppose.

---- Bill Sherwonit / Anchorage



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