Grizzly Bears, Grisly Death, and Idiot Park Rangers
A 57-year old California man was killed by a grizzly in Yellowstone the other day, on a trail not far from Canyon Village. He and his wife spotted the female bear with two cubs from a distance of about 100 yards. They immediately stopped, backed up slowly and retreat back down the trail. The bear charged, ran the man down and killed him in the space of seconds. The wife was farther down the trial and was only slightly injured.
The rangers say the bear was acting in a normal defensive mode. They have no plans to capture the bear for relocation of for any other reason. The newspapers are making a big deal out of the fact that the man was not carrying pepper spray. Well, he was a tourist visiting America’s oldest National Park. He might not have been aware of pepper spray or how to use it. And despite all the hype of how safe you will be if only you have pepper spray, it’s not the panacea its proponents claim. I always carry it, along with other types of bear repellant, but in a wind it’s pretty easy to spray yourself instead of the bear. Wind just happens to be fairly common in bear country. Any cop can tell you that there are some humans who are unaffected by the very strong pepper spray they carry, so I think it’s safe to say there are a few bears that might be immune to it as well, especially when we’re talking about an adrenaline-filled 600-pound animal as naturally nasty and cantankerous as a grizzly.
The unfortunate man and his wife were on a short walk from Canyon Village, a busy area populated with tourists. They weren’t headed into the back country. If you ask me, Americans should not have to fear a grisly death from a grizzly when they visit their national parks, at least if they are mere sightseers and not back country trekkers. The Park Service is irresponsible in not keeping dangerous bears away from areas where tourists are plentiful.
The rangers are also idiots. One of them made this public statement: “We’re able to reassure people,” she said. “We told them that if they keep a safe distance they can enjoy the wildlife safely.”
For God’s sake, lady, the guy was 100 yards away from the damned bear when he first saw it and immediately tried to leave the area! I guess the National Park Service recruits its rangers from the same service used by the motor vehicle department. I take that back, the people at the motor vehicle department are no where near that dumb.