If you have ever considered feeding a wild bear, what occurred near Oysterville, Washington this last week will make you think twice! As a result of a couple feeding bears dog food, ten bears had to be removed from the area and five were subsequently killed because they had become too habituated to humans and were considered dangerous. Rich Beausoleil, of Washington Fish and Wildlife, told the Chinook Observer, “this was the worst case I’ve seen in my career.” According to the article:
A record 10 black bears were removed from property about a mile north of Joe Johns Road and on Stackpole where a couple had been feeding bears “up to $4,000 of dog food per year” from information obtained by WDFW. The offending parties “are now cooperating fully” according to WDFW enforcement officer Patrick Anderson, who assisted Beausoleil with removing seven adults and three cubs. WDFW Lt. Dan Chadwick also helped with the operation.
The feeding had been going on for some time, but the problems “exploded” this year, according to many neighbors. Hungry bears use to human contact had knocked a hole in a garage door, destroyed a freezer, and downed a fence on at least three properties.
…Sadly, we believe other people knew of the situation and didn’t report it right away. If they had, we could have intervened and probably could have saved all the bears.”
One of GBOP’s objective is to remind people that while it is exciting and thrilling to see wildlife (at a safe distance!) it is never a good idea to feed them. We go to great lengths to remind homeowners that there are simple steps to take in and around the home that will keep bears and deer wild and people safe. These simple steps include keeping garbage, pet food, and bird feeders out of wildlife’s reach but there are many more you can read on our website under cougar, bear, and wolf safety.
To read the entire Chinook Observer article, click here