Saturday, May 31, 2014

Florida Bear Relaxes in a Hammock !


Florida Bear Relaxes in a Hammock !

The Florida news was abuzz with a "cute" story about a black bear relaxing in a Daytona Beach man's backyard hammock. A quick check of YouTube reveals that bears relaxing in hammocks are not that uncommon (see below), they are after all extremely intelligent creatures. Unfortunately there have been too many bear stories in the news in Florida this year and quite a number of bears have paid with their lives. When bears and humans - who have moved their subdivisions and urban sprawl into the bear's territory - come into contact unfortunate events all too often are the result - in some cases humans are attacked - in almost all cases bears are killed by wildlife or law enforcement officials. People lately seem surprised the bears visit "their" yards. Many people enjoy the peace and quiet of a "country lifestyle" and like green spaces and conservation preserves etc., but don't realize the responsibility that comes with living nearer to nature and sharing space with wild animals. Hopefully bears and humans can coexist, but all too often unnatural food sources are made available to the bears and it is only natural that they will take advantage of it. Generations of bears are being habituated to human/pet food and garbage. I recently was paid a visit by a mother bear and her three cubs looking for food - they made a quick sweep of the porch finding a little bird seed in a deck box and moved on. I now keep nothing at all edible in there or anywhere on the property. They were a sweet family and I hope they can continue to live and grow wild and free, but that means that knowing they are around I have to act responsibly to avoid attracting and encouraging them. The worst thing to do is knowingly feed bears. Feeding the bears is against the law and endangers the next person to encounter a fed bear and is a death sentence for the bear.