Target: David Cobb, Chief, Division of Wildlife Management
Goal: Find a more humane solution than death for bears breaking into houses looking for food.
A three-legged black bear was shot and killed by the management team of a housing community without consideration of humane options for removing it. The bear had started off by rummaging through garbage cans in an upscale housing community looking for food. Construction workers building a house nearby first saw the bear with an injured leg; when he returned months later he only had three legs. The workers began feeding the bear because he looked so skinny.
The bears that become too comfortable with humans are nicknamed ‘nuisance’ bears. This particular three-legged bear was comfortable enough to break into houses looking for food. In one reported instance, two pies were stolen off of a kitchen counter. Management of the community sent emails and posted notices around the area advising people to keep their windows and doors closed.
Some residents ignored these warnings, and eventually management had enough. Wildlife advocates in the area did everything they could to find a sanctuary to relocate the bear. In the end, there was not enough time; management decided to shoot the bear.
Because the bear had caused damage to property on multiple occasions, the residents had said they wanted something done about it. No one ever imagined the solution would be death.
In some states it is policy to capture and relocate these ‘nuisance’ bears to wildlife settings far away from populations. Other states run into problems finding an area remote enough to relocate these bears to; if the area is not far enough away from their home they can end up back where they started.
In North Carolina, bear relocation is only done on a case-by-case basis, and it usually only involves orphan cubs. In all other instances, it is policy to shoot these bears. The state did little to help advocates with a relocation plan.
The number of bear complaints has doubled in the last decade. If the policy to kill ‘nuisance’ bears is not changed, it could result in countless bears loosing their lives. Sign the petition to demand the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission change their bear-killing policies and find more humane, non-lethal ways to deal with bear complaints.
Dear Mr. Cobb,
A three-legged black bear was killed before wildlife advocates had a chance to relocate it. There was no reason action had to be taken immediately. The bear, popular with the construction workers who had been feeding it, should have been spared a few more days while wildlife advocates found a spot to relocate it. The bear had not harmed any humans and had only been looking for food when it broke into houses.
The policy in North Carolina to shoot ‘nuisance’ bears instead of finding a new location for them is barbaric. Please rethink this policy and develop humane, non-lethal solutions such as relocation. A policy change would spare the lives of countless bears, making both animal activists and the people of the communities these bears are causing a nuisance to satisfied.
[Your Name Here]