Monday, June 2, 2008

More Bear Stories

This time from the NY Times, from last Fall, that reports (may need to log in for this link) on the relationship between black bears and the resort town of Whistler, BC.
Beyond providing a setting of uncommon natural beauty, however, all this mingling of humankind and the wilderness seems to have produced something almost taxonomically unique: Wild bears so habituated to the presence of people that the biologists who have come here to study them say they’ve never seen anything like it — bears that lift the door handles of trucks to take possession of the cabs; bears that manage to snag the bait from a trap with one foot while holding the steel gate open with the other; bears that stroll munificently through the crowds at the Canada Day parade; bears in the pubs, the hotels, the day-care centers, the landfills, meat lockers, grease vents, underground parking garages. In Whistler, if a bear doesn’t get into something humans are guarding, it’s usually because too many other bears got there first.
People and nature collide hard. What to do?