Deadly Government Bears

Another collared bear has killed an innocent citizen:

Grizzly kills man near Wyoming’s Yellowstone Park

By MEAD GRUVER - Associated Press Writer, June 18, 2010 [here]

A grizzly bear killed a Wyoming man outside Yellowstone National Park, apparently just hours after researchers trapped and tranquilized the animal.

The attack happened Thursday in the same place where two researchers with the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team [here] had examined a large adult male grizzly earlier that day, Park County Sheriff Scott Steward said Friday.

The suspect bear was wearing a radio collar. Authorities didn’t intend to venture into the woods to chase the animal, however. …

Shoshone National Forest officials closed off the Kitty Creek area, about six miles outside the Yellowstone East Entrance, until further notice.

“There have been Forest Service people in the area talking to people who live in those cabins, and at the lodges around there, letting them know what’s going on,” forest spokeswoman Susan Douglas said Friday. …

“My heart goes out for the victim and the family involved in this. Nobody would want anything like this to happen,” Chuck Schwartz, head of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team based in Bozeman, Mont., said Friday.

The team is made up of federal and state biologists who monitor and study grizzlies in the Yellowstone ecosystem.

The researchers also had trapped and tranquilized another grizzly in the area Thursday.

Schwartz said there would be an investigation, including into whether required procedures were followed, such as posting warning signs about the grizzly research.

Schwartz said it wasn’t certain whether the trapped grizzly had mauled Evert. But Chris Servheen, grizzly bear recovery coordinator with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said it’s unlikely that another grizzly would have been in the same area as the large adult male.

“There’s a very, very high probability that it was this bear,” Servheen said.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department was working Friday to try to recapture the bear, agency spokesman Eric Keszler said.

Grizzly bears have been back on the federal list of threatened species since last year.

This is not the first case of negligence by wildlife biologists leading to the killing of innocent people. In 2007 an 11-year-old boy was killed in a bear attack, by an aggressive bear known to employees of the USFS and the Utah Division of Wildlife Services who failed to warn campers [here].

Nor was it the first case of a collared, radio-tracked bear attacking an innocent person. As we reported [here]:

In October 2007 a 450 pound male black bear opened a sliding glass door to a condo in Aspen, entered the condo, and attacked the occupant, a woman, who sustained serious injuries The attack came at 1:30 a.m. The bear was killed by state and federal wildlife officers the next day. The hunters were aided by the radio transmitter on the bear’s collar.

It was a collared bear! Someone had put a radio transmitter on a bear and then failed to track it, or did track it but failed to warn the public that their bear was in town. Had the attack come from a pit bull, the pit bull’s owner would have gone to jail, no doubt. But because the animal was “wild,” the wildlifers who had collared it felt no responsibility for the bear’s actions.

And [here]:

The bear had a collar! Somebody put that collar on that bear, for the purposes of tracking it. No doubt, that operation cost a pretty penny, not to mention the gear. No doubt, taxpayers paid for it.

Somebody was supposed to be tracking the bear. We assume that, because why else would anybody put a radio transmitter collar on a bear? It’s not a sport now, is it? If bear collaring is a sport now, why does the taxpayer have to foot the bill? And why put a radio transmitter in the collar, if bear wrestling and collaring is the main event?

No, we are quite sure that tracking the bear was the purpose. However, if the bear was tracked into town, why weren’t the city authorities warned? Why weren’t state and federal wildlife officers dispatched before the bear went into somebody’s condo in the middle of the night? Or if the bear wasn’t tracked, why not? …

The bear had a collar. He was somebody’s bear. We don’t mean he was a trained bear. Far from it; that bear was a wild animal. But once a human puts a collar on an animal, that human takes on responsibilities for that animal.

The murderous bear was a government bear. It belonged to the people who collared it. Putting a collar on an animal is an act that expresses ownership, as much as branding or ear tagging (the article didn’t mention whether the killer bear had an ear tag). When you assume ownership of something, you assume responsibility for it.

In this case, owner negligence resulted in a fatality. That sounds to me like negligent homicide, which is a serious crime. If not, if the DA fails to prosecute, or even if there is a criminal prosecution, some sort of civil lawsuit may be forthcoming.

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team does not operate in a vacuum but rather within a socio-political community. They have taken taxpayer monies and assumed ownership of wild animals, by virtue of collaring those animals. The Team acted negligently in failing to track their radio-collared animal and in failing to warn residents of an angry, drugged, full-grown male grizzly bear in their midst.

There are consequences to actions. It will be interesting to see whether those who acted with great negligence receive appropriate punishment.

Some related posts about bears:

Judge “Grizzly” Molloy Scares Humans (2010/04/08) — U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy has banned aerial weed spraying on the Kootenai National Forest because the helicopters might scare grizzly bears. [here]

Grizzlies Relisted Due to Global Warming (2010/04/07) — The US Fish and Wildlife Service put grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park back on the threatened species list on March 26th. The USFWS was forced to do so by a court decision that said global warming is causing the bears to go extinct. [here]

Don’t Feed The Bears (2009/08/09) — The latest craze of the dingle-brained rich is to feed bears. Wealthy McMansion owners from Aspen to Lake Tahoe have adopted the insane practice of putting food out for black bears in a kind of twisted substitute for human charity. [here]

Economic, Social and Cultural Impacts of Grizzly Bear Recovery Zones (2009/06/23) — Note: the following is a comment that was submitted yesterday to the US Forest Service regarding the Grizzly Bear and actions the Forest Service will be taking regarding road and land closures. [here]

Grizzly Bait and Switch Proposed (2009/06/02) — Evidently the USFS is looking for excuses to shut people out of our public forests. The latest game: lock out the public to allegedly save a growing population of not-really-endangered grizzly bears. [here]

Endangered species listings lack solid science (2009/02/24) — Animals considered under ESA are not necessarily endangered with extinction. Polar bears were listed even though worldwide numbers have increased during the past 40 years and most populations have not declined. Of the 19 populations identified in the ESA documents, five were declining, two were increasing, five were stable and seven were unknown. Polar bears were considered endangered because of global warming and summer sea ice models. Whether polar bears are endangered at this time depends on one’s view of the model predictions. [here]

The Grizzly Bear Junk Science Judicial Nonsense Gene Pool Blues (2008/11/20) — Anybody can be a scientist these days. You don’t need any formal training in science, scientific knowledge, or expertise. Just slap a badge that says “scientist” on your forehead and presto, there you are! It especially helps if you are a Federal judge. Then whatever you say, no matter how stupid and unscientific, becomes the Law of the Land and Accepted Scientific Truth. [here]

Three Bear Stories (2007/12/02) — At some point during the Decline and Fall of Western Sanity, bears (large mammals in the family Ursidae, order Carnivora) morphed from dangerous predators (yet tasty bags of meat and objects of the Hunt) into cuddly little cartoon fuzz balls. The morphing took place only in the Mass Consciousness, not in Reality. Reality, durn it, has a way of intruding on fantasy and reverie, however. And in the matter of bears, Reality has been intruding at an increased rate of late. [here]

21 Jun 2010, 12:28pm
by Mike

Some additional facts:

1. The deadly grizzly bear was shot and killed from a helicopter Saturday [here]

2. The bear was captured, drugged and released within one mile of the Kitty Creek cabins and a Boy Scout camp (Camp Buffalo Bill) and near one of the most popular hiking trails in the Shoshone National Forest. (ibid)

3. The researchers blame the victim for failing to heed their warnings. (ibid)

4. Grizzly bears have exceeded “the carrying capacity of the Yellowstone ecosystem.” More than 570 grizzly bears have overburdened Yellowstone and are migrating outwards. [here].

5. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is forbidden by court order to control grizzly bears because they are allegedly at risk of going extinct due to alleged global warming. (ibid)



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