Thursday, November 18, 2010

Man vs. Bear

Now wouldn't it be a little bit disconcerting to you if a black bear was out wandering around your neighborhood? This my reality. My Twin Cities metro suburb has a new neighbor—a rather large black bear. He's been spotted out and about for the last few months. Lingering in backyards, taking a swim in a scummy pond, popping out at unsuspecting joggers. Like a neighborhood watch, my neighbors have an efficient "bear watch" network set up, warning others when the bear makes an appearance.

Now, unlike some of my neighbors, I have never actually laid eyes on this bear. But I have seen his muddy paw prints on the bike path and a rather large wet spot on the pavement where he shook himself off after a swim the pond near my house—a trail of wet bear tracks leading off into the woods. A bit scary when all you have is a terrier on a leash and your cell phone to defend yourself.

I'm told that black bears are somewhat common in Central Minnesota and that we humans are infringing on black bear territory by building subdivisions like mine near their woods and wetlands. Yes, humans have moved into bear territory, which is sad for the bears, but we humans are not leaving anytime soon. However, nothing is really being done to encourage this bear to move on or to somehow move him out of the neighborhood. The local police are aware of the bear and supposedly someone has been given the authority to "take out the bear". This is fine but as far as I know, the bear is still here. Perhaps Mother Nature will motivate him to move back up North or to dig his den and hibernate for the winter.

If he does hibernate, what will happen in the Spring after he wakes up from his winter nap? I would hate to think what could happen when some kids riding their bikes on the bike/bear path come face-to-face with this bear in the Spring. The last thing I want is a hungry, ornery, post-hiberation bear gallivanting around in March. Cannot the bear be humanely moved out of the neighborhood soon? It's bear vs. suburbans Moms.

No comments: