Are these bear necessities?

Humans taketh away and then try to give back. Historically, brown bears roamed much of the Iberian peninsula (Spain and Portugal) but hunting and loss of habitat had a significant impact on the species. Iberian Brown Bears can weigh from 330 to 550 pounds and stand over 6.5 feet tall. As human population and agriculture expanded, bears were a threat to farmers and villagers. So they were hunted and their natural forest areas were cut down to make farm fields. While there were thousands of bears long ago, thirty years ago, there were only 60 bears left in Spain. They received protected status in 1973, although hunting was allowed to continue. Conservationists prevailed with the government and the bears have been coming back. Today Spain is home to 400 native bear species.

One aspect of the population rebound is the bears encounter people much more frequently. If they cannot maintain a safe distance, humans usually get the short end of the encounter. Recently in one village a 73 year old woman could not escape a bear and was attacked, she survived but had a broken hip and severe facial injuries. So the regional government of Castile and Leon has set up a patrol for locals to report animals on the prowl. Ideally, they can keep the bears in the woods and the people safe from wandering animals. In 2021, a team of veterinarians, biologists and mountain rangers created a satellite system to monitor the animals. If locals spot a bear they are asked to keep calm and call the rangers’ 24-hour phone line for assistance. The rangers, armed with radios, rubber ball shotguns and tracking devices, fire warning shots in order to clear the animals from villages. California has been radio tagging mountain lions in various areas, for the same reasons. As the California people population expanded folks moved into the woods and the lions got much more comfortable with the noise and food the humans brought. The encounters have made the news many times.

Angeles Orallo, 73, has been attempting to keep the bears away from her vegetable garden. “We are older people… the fact that we can’t go out for a quiet walk is sad,” she lamented. “The increase in the bear population leads to an increase in conflicts” with humans, patrol coordinator Daniel Pinto said. Once caught, the bears are anaesthetized and given a GPS collar so they can be easily located in the future. So far, rangers have captured 12 bears that were then freed far from villages. The patrol wants to prevent them from eating crops, garden fruit and vegetables. Knowing the bears are further away reassures locals they won’t bump into one. “The aim is to seek solutions to the conservation challenges we face with bears, mainly in urban environments,” said David Cubero, coordinator of the brown bear capture and radio-tagging plan. “What we want is to monitor at all times, in real time… to be able to act quickly, always to improve the bears’ coexistence with humans.” Ironically the increase of bears and the success of the program has already boosted tourism in the area, since people come to the region to see a real bear in the woods. Stay tuned to see who wins.

Bearly humorous

Polar bears used to be brown but through evolution, they turned white because Police were shooting them.

While it is legal to shoot bears in Alaska, waking a sleeping bear for the purpose of taking a photograph is prohibited.

Polar bears in the Pittsburgh zoo received a $14 million domain renovation featuring a plush waterfall and running stream. Park officials expect a spike in ticket sales as well as a visit from Al Sharpton asking what the black bears got.

Do you remember Smokey the Bear? I do. “Only YOU can prevent forest fires.”
I tell ya, as a kid in the 80’s that really stuck with me. Like, every single forest fire since, I’ve had to wrestle with it. How is this my fault? What more could I be doing? Why couldn’t I prevent it?
My entire life since then I have had to live with the fact that Smokey chose ME, and I have failed him! I have failed ALL of you!

February 13th Birthdays

1979 – Mena Suvari, 2002 – Sophia Lillis, 1944 – Stockard Channing, 1968 – Kelly Hu

1923 – Chuck Yeager, 1950 – Peter Gabriel, 1977 – Randy Moss, 1948 – Mike Krzyzewski

Morning Motivator: