Letter — Learn from the bear killings
As a lover of all creatures great and small, it was with great sadness I read the front-page article on the killings of a mother bear and her two cubs for damaging a Spring Creek tract cabin while pursuing food. The article indicated that Mrs. Kay Henderson freely admitted to having food in the house and said she felt they should not have to remove food because this is after all, human territory. With all due respect, I wholeheartedly disagree with Mrs. Henderson.
I believe there are two main points at issue here. The first is of responsibility. Of all the places in the world to live, we have selected to reside here in Tahoe so that all it’s natural beauty and all it has to offer may surround us. That said, the beauty of Tahoe’s wildlife does in fact surround us and it is our responsibility as humans to do everything in our power to protect hat wildlife, including the bears. To that end, we must ensure that we do nothing that will encourage the development of problematic behaviors in these beautiful creatures. I consider the removal of foodstuffs from a non-primary residence cabin a rather small concession.
The second point is that of arrogance. When we have elected to live in this beautiful wilderness, what gives us the right to decide that a certain spot is human territory only? don’t all the wildlife in Tahoe also have a right to reside in the territory? Does not the opportunity of living amongst Tahoe’s wildlife contribute to its appeal? To preserve the the Tahoe living experience we must fore a way to harmoniously cohabitate. I think that we can ill afford to adopt a position of human territory versus wildlife territory.
In the article Mr. John Henderson indicated that this was the first bear incident they had experienced in the roughly 50 years that his family has had the cabin. With the custom of leaving foodstuffs in their cabin they should consider themselves lucky. I just regret this practice created a situation that necessitated the killings of a mother bear and her two cubs.
Priscilla W. Tommei
South Lake Tahoe
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