It's so sad that this is even an issue.
A bear that was being monitored by the North American Bear Center has been killed, causing an uproar in the research and hunting community in the area - and prompting a serious discussion on the ethics of the sport.
Biologists have been attempting to track and study a family of 13 bears in the area - each is collared and tagged with bright ribbons, so if hunters in the area spot them, they know to let them live. However, because there are no laws in place to protect the animals, the Bear Center trusts that the hunters will rely on the honor system and spare their lives.
However, some twisted sicko chose to ignore that and apparently killed one of the younger bears, named 'Sarah,' and then left her blood-soaked collar at the Department of Natural Resources.
Biologist Sue Mansfield says:
"It's hard, it's just so hard. It would be difficult to say that someone hadn't seen the ribbons."
Meanwhile, many local hunters in the area are upset that the Department of Natural Resources haven't made it policy to keep these bears protected, so those who follow the rules aren't perceived negatively!
Hunter Jim Braaten writes:
The point is if you don’t want fluorescently collared research bears killed then make it a game violation so the person who doesn’t follow the desired rules gets properly labeled—”poacher” or “game law violator.” Instead, the person who committed this act gets named as a “hunter” and that makes us all out to appear as untrustworthy, blood-thirsty, uncaring individuals who fail to play by any ethical rules set forth for our sport.
Another biologist, Dave Garshelis, counters:
"We realize that the majority of hunters out there are ethical and would not shoot a radio-collared bear. It's difficult to understand why somebody would."
It sounds to us like someone's just really foul. The fact that they would leave a bloody collar for researchers to find is sadistic!
That being said, we certainly don't personally condone the hunting of any living thing for sport, so this is a difficult ethical question for us.
But we also understand that this is a part of some people's culture, and we hope that there ARE laws or regulations put into place so ensure that this kind of pointless violence is avoided, especially when these animals are being researched and monitored to improve their quality of life.
What do U think?? What are U feelings on a difficult issue such as this?
Tags: bears, biologist, collar, community, department of natural resources, hunter, hunting, jim braaten, minnesota, research, ribbon dave garshelis, sue mansfield