Wednesday, May 03, 2006
The bears are back.
Black bears are back in town. There's no easy answer to this issue. It's not just Timmins. It's happening everywhere in Northern Ontario. Yesterday, a black bear attacked a teenaged boy in Sudbury. Last year, a woman camping near Chapleau was attacked and killed. The province banned the spring bear hunt five years ago, because people in Toronto didn't like hearing about orphaned bear cubs. Here in the North, the bears are everywhere. The picture shows a black bear shot by police near my neighborhood last year. It was about 7:30 in the morning. You can see the neighbors standing around in their pyjamas. The cop was not happy at having to kill the bear. There's a school bus passing. A hungry bear doesn't care where it gets food ... even if it sniffs a baloney sandwich in a kid's backpack. Some people say the bears are just behaving normally, and we the people are infringing on its territory. The province says the public is to blame for having things like barbecues, bird feeders and garbage cans near their homes. The bears are learning that it's okay to go near humans. So what do you do? I predict the problem will get worse before it gets solved. Some little kid waiting for the schoolbus will get attacked. Maybe killed. The public will lash out.