Monday, November 21, 2011

Please DO Feed the Bears!!

Black bears in states like Minnesota have become a real problem for the people who inhabit areas around their habitat. This problem has been solved in recent years with the shooting of the bears. However, a new, more humane solution has been proposed and tested recently. In an article written in The Vancouver Sun, Lynn Rogers, who is a director of the Wildlife Research Institute and the North American Bear Centre in Ely, Minnessota stated, “...studies show that putting food out for bears at a designated site -- a practice known as diversionary feeding -- can keep black bears away from population areas but doesn’t condition the bears to human food.

This new technique was quite shocking to me and I’m sure many other when they first hear of it. If you have ever lived around or visited any bear-populated areas you have probably noticed signs that say not to feed the bears. I found it very interesting that black bears and humans can coexist by simply feeding the bears. In one of Lynn Rogers articles, located in an academic journal, she goes into detail about diversionary feeding tests lasting 8 years. According to Lynn, during this time period, “the only bear [that had to be] removed was a transient sub-adult male that had not yet found the diversionary feeding site. This study proved that hunger is the main factor that creates conflict between humans and bears.

Works Cited

Rogers, Lynn L. "Does Diversionary Feeding Create Nuisance Bears and Jeopardize Public Safety?" Berryman Institute. 20 May2009. Web.


Santin, Aldo. "'Diversionary Feeding' Better than Bullets for Problem Bears, Biologist Says." The Vancouver Sun. Winnipeg Free Press, 18 Aug. 2011. Web.


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