Nelson residents have had some close encounters with wildlife in the past few days.
From black bears entering homes to cougar sightings, nature seems to be intruding into our lives. Possibly in retaliation for us intruding into theirs.
These recent incidents have raised the same old questions, and in some cases accusations. Only a few minutes after posting the story of the bear being “dispatched” by conservation officers, social media began to buzz asking why the animal had to be killed.
Others complained why the media release used the term “dispatched,” instead of “killed.”
That is an argument of semantics. Are they trying to soften the terminology? Of course they are. Ask any pet owner if they killed their dog, or did they put it down? The choice of words seems to point towards motive.
The fact is there is no easy way to describe the act, an act that any conservation officer will tell you is as unpleasant as it gets.
When wild animals are destroyed, it’s because they pose a danger to humans. It’s not out of malice, or enjoyment or for food. It’s a matter of necessity.
The bear in question had already gone inside a house and was seen scavenging from home-to-home along the neighbourhood. Drugging it, capturing it and then relocating the bear would not have solved the issue.
The bear would have returned to its food source.
If any blame needs to be laid regarding this animal’s death, it falls on all the home owners or residents that help supply it with easily accessible food.
Every year the warnings go up about keeping bird feeders clean and making sure garbage containers are covered, yet raccoons, bears and other wildlife regularly feed out of them.
We are not doing our part to keep wildlife away from temptation.