Officer suspended after refusing to kill baby bears

[Read the post]

If the bears are subject to human law with regards to entering the trailer and eating the food, shouldn’t they also be afforded the human protections from being killed? This is the kind of disaster which happens when people assume that they “own” land which already has organisms living upon it. They aren’t convincing anyone but themselves.


Cubs, Carla, cubs.

one good apple.


This is a feel good article for sure, but a sow and even cute cubs habituated to approaching humans are dangerous. It is nearly impossible even for a small bear to unlearn the treasure trove inside a trash can.
There is the school which says move out or deport the non-native people.
But until that happens a choice has to be made between the inevitable human habitations and number of acceptable fatalities from mauling and the top level predators like bears and humans which can’t co-exist.
The sad end to this story is probably either the rare enough outdoor fenced sanctuary or a zoo for the cubs.
Cute should have no affect on conservation decisions.
Fortunately for humans who want a woodsy cabin there is a sort of killing selection effect right now where bear hunting has eliminated the bears from the gene pool with traits most likely to cause them to approach humans and their settlements.


Humans need to coexist with other species as the norm. The only other practical option is planetwide genocide, which then has the effect of killing off humanity via lack of biodiversity. Humanity’s survival depends upon accepting that the rights of other species are as real as theirs.


It’s not that animals are being held accountable to human law*, it’s that animals deemed dangerous to humans are sometimes killed in the name of human safety. In that regard it’s much easier to argue that the mother bear posed a risk to human lives than the bear cubs, which are young enough to be relocated (even if that means a sanctuary or zoo).

*I mean, the indecent exposure arrests alone would be enough to overwhelm every law enforcement agency on the planet…


That has everything to do with them being unilaterally accountable to human law. It’s indicating that humans have a right to physical safety and protection, while bears (or basically, anything non-human) do not. I am sure that nobody bothered to check whether or not the bears had any claim to this area when the humans set up camp there. There is no “exclusive habitation” anywhere, because it would be an ecological disaster.

I never said anything about it being fair to the bears. I’m just saying it’s not a matter of the bears being put down because they violated human laws.

Then how do we know that it was not actually the bear’s land? Humans assume exclusivity and claim that they can “own” land, even that already has millions of living things inhabiting it. Even my spell checker is balking at “bear’s”, because apparently it is assumed that bears cannot possess anything. It shows how deeply the bias runs. It is these very human laws which posit the the notion that only humans can own and control it.

I suspect that not all will agree, but I think that when humans deciding among themselves that their land claims make the existence of any other organism there forfeit, they are subjecting others to human law. as well as being deliberately oblivious to existing usage of the land. Humans assuming this is worse than “unfair”, it is unrealistic, because it offers no way to possibly account for the vast majority of lifeforms present. Maybe 400 years ago, the notion that they would all conveniently wander away to somewhere else was realistic, but it certainly isn’t now. But due to the perceived convenience and sunk costs, most people appear to not be eager to re-think a few thousand years of concepts about ownership and coexistence.

He was just fulfilling his job title: Conservation Officer.


More likely the spell checker uses something like a Bayesian classifier. A misplaced apostrophe is apparently more common than a bear possessing something.

No bias needed.

I think it’s called “might makes right”.

And that’s where bear control operations come into play.


Because human laws exist for the benefit of humans. The rights and responsibilities afforded by law to human beings don’t apply to non-humans. Whether they SHOULD is another discussion.

At any rate, this bear wasn’t killed for “violating laws against trespassing.” It was killed, rightly or wrongly, because it was perceived as a threat to human lives.


If only the officer had had the foresight to kill any nearby humans, his superiors would have immediately jumped to defend him.


Of course this represents a bias. How would a Bayesian classifier know about bears property? Offloading the oversight onto an algorithm is just sloppy thinking. It is humans who have made up their mind that bears cannot possess anything, nobody ever cared to ask the bears. And conversely, if humans are the only ones who believe in this sort of property, this exclusive relationship with things, might it not suggest statistically that it could be a figment of human imagination? Or perhaps more accurately, a bias of human thinking which is not universally applicable?

If they are so mighty, then they shouldn’t be scared by the presence of other animals. And anyway, this highlights the double-standard I was explaining. Human laws with regard to property and territory do not operate upon the principle of “might makes right”.

If you can’t even handle democracy out in the woods, you’re certainly not going to fare any better in city hall.

1 Like

This is something that they’re dealing with in Germany at the moment. Wolves are becoming more common and are spreading west from Poland, which is great in theory as they were native to Germany until they were hunted out of existence 100 years ago. In the meantime, people have gotten used to not having them around, so it takes some persuasion to convince them that the wolves are pretty safe (especially if they are parents who send their kids to forest kindergartens).

Ms. Haust had the nursery’s 3,300-square-foot playground ringed with a rainbow-colored barrier of fluttering flags believed to be a wolf-repellent, she says.

Meanwhile, parents have been drilling their children. In the presence of wolves, they are to stand still, get on their toes and clap their hands. Ms. Pille and her daughter, Lott, are practicing loud screaming.

Other techniques have involved pop music, donkeys and rubber bullets, but it’s illegal to kill them. So far no people have been harmed, but there have been a number of sightings and quite a few sheep have been killed.

If they didn’t understand the bears’ language, they could have taken the cubs away without shooting the mother bear, or entered her territory and set up camp.

So, an average weekend in Tijuana, in other words.


Sure, the critters were here first. There is exactly zero territory here, including cities, that was not once the sole preserve of animals. It’s very easy, from far away, to make lazily smug judgements about how nobody should be living here anyway (while simultaneously living in a similarly appropriated place).

However, in many communities here in BC there are bears expanding into the towns.

Part of that is habitat loss, but part of it is just young bears looking for new territories. The same happens with cougars. It’s sad, but if they become dangerous they have to be put down. There are a lot of things we can do to help prevent that from happening - we’ve had a black bear sow in and near our neighbourhood for years and nobody has requested she be destroyed. But if she ever becomes a threat she will be destroyed, as was the young cougar that recently moved into our area.

let me get this straight…

when a cop shoots an unarmed human dead they claim he was doing his job and find no wrong doing. Refuse to shoot an unarmed animal and they are suspended immediately and investigated.