I respectfully must disagree that regarding black bears, we should “Leave them alone, and they’ll leave us alone.”
Recent letter-writer Marybeth Holleman stated that she had returned from a visit in Asheville, North Carolina, where black bears can be commonly seen wandering city streets, and residents “are proud of them.” I suggest that those residents are doomed to experience a tragedy in the near future.
Black bears are wild animals, and although intelligent, do not possess the control necessary to avoid deadly encounters. People are arguably more intelligent, and some of them cannot avoid hurting their neighbors. Bears do not have the ability to show “intelligent tolerance.” Given a trigger, it’s just a matter of time and circumstance before there is a painful or deadly tragedy.
If we want security and safety, there must be a defined separation between wild and humans. Let the bears have parks and reserves, let me have my yard and neighborhood.
— Debbie Soltis
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