On Wednesday, September 29th on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville NC, a couple picnicking elected to violate park rules and allow their 70-lb. German Shepherd to go unleashed. Their dog charged a bear in its natural habitat and began barking. "Likely aggravated by the dog, the bear acted defensively toward the dog and the couple," park officials said in a news release. "Over the next several minutes, there were repeated attacks by the bear while the couple retreated with their dog to the safety of their vehicle."
The couple drove themselves to the local hospital to get their minor injuries treated. Park officials say the offending bear will be humanely euthanized if captured and positively identified, per park and NC Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) protocol. "The parkway is a sanctuary for bears, since it provides their natural, forested habitat, and hunting is prohibited. Dogs must be on a 6-foot leash on parkway land. Owners who do not leash their dogs face a possible fine."
The situation here is that humans broke the law and yet the bear will pay the steep price. Flip that scenario around. Seems unfair doesn't it? Just because humans had an unfortunate encounter with nature does not mean that blame shifting is in order to save face. Nature shouldn't be looked at through rose-colored lenses one minute and then as Frankenstein's monster the next. As the higher being of intelligence, we owe it to nature to be its protector. With great intelligence comes great responsibility.
Help Asheville Bears (HAB), a non-profit organization, has been denied twice by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) for a rehabilitation center and sanctuary for bears. If the NCWRC would approve the request, there would be a place in Western NC where bears could be taken to instead of being euthanized. It would cost the state and the public NOTHING. HAB has given the state the very solution that would solve the needless killing of innocent life.