astro, you are aware that bears have a bad reputation for not doing well sharing habitat with humans, right? A very large percentage of bear attacks are done by bears that have lost their fear of humans while they rooted through trash and garbage (or worse, while getting handouts) near human housing. It’s all very well to talk about how great bears are, but do you want one living anywhere within 5 miles of you?
They can get themselves in trouble even without having lost their fear of humans. It’s probably been 15 years now, but one year when the food sources for the bears were bad due to drought and other problems, a bear came out of the Sandias into the extreme eastern end of the city, climbed a pole, and electrocuted itself.
I’ve got nothing against bears, but humans and bears don’t share space very well. You use bear bags for a reason, after all.
I didn’t mean to imply I wanted to blame the bears, either. Unfortunately we’re not allowed to shoot the people encroaching on the bears’ habitat. It is a situation that is hard to balance no matter how you look at it.
I am a Maryland resident who moved here from bear country. I would rather not share my home with bears. The area I live doesn’t have bears, and I’d like to keep it that way. I like being able to put out my garbage on trash day, I like being able to have the neighbourhood kids play in the street, and I like having a bird feeder and compost if I choose.
It would mightily suck to have one of my friends or neighbours mauled by a bear who was ‘just looking for food’, much as one of my clients was back home.