SooToday.com received the following responses from area residents regarding a letter posted to our site which expressed displeasure that Sault Police Services shot and killed a bear in the P-Patch area earlier this week.
**************************** First off, I am not an advocate for bears, but I do feel that if the ministry had an opportunity to kill the bear, there was obviously the option to tranquilize it instead.
I've seen numerous people I am friends with upset over how this matter was handled.
What saddens me the most, is that we pay so little attention to how our way of life has interfered with the natural habitat of other species.
Yes, of course it would have been horrible to have a bear attack a human being.
But if we look at this realistically, the northern part of Ontario has much forestation and it is certainly not uncommon for species other then humans to live in the area.
I also think posting pictures online of a slaughtered bear was perhaps not the best approach, but I honor freedom of speech and expression as well.
The main idea here is most people believe that morally, this was a cruel punishment for the bear, and other options should have been exercised before killing the animal.
**************************** I am a resident in the P-Patch, Panoramic Drive to be exact, that is very pleased the bear was dispatched before it inflicted injury to a resident, damage to property or the death of a child.
I have had several encounters with this bear since the end of August.
It was not easily scared off.
I have a large breed dog that went at the bear and it merely meandered off.
His visits were frequent and unpredictable.
I have had bears in the yard over the years, one bark from the dog and the bear would take off.
This bear was different, way too comfortable around humans, very unnerving.
The MNR attempted to trap, no luck.
The bear was too smart for that as he had a tag in his left ear, so he had been through that at least once before, they say 2005.
Over the past weekend there were reports that his temperament had changed.
It was starting to show signs of aggression - not a good situation as it gets hungrier and hungrier in a neighbourhood full of children.
These wild animals are unpredictable.
The cohabitation plan our government is feeding us is not a logical solution to the problem of black bear overpopulation.
These animals have no predator so they will increase in numbers.
The encounters within city limits will increase and they will move farther into the city.
It is sad that it will take a death or two for folks to insist the MNR better manages the resource instead of blaming the increase in bear encounters on garbage, apple trees, gardens and bird feeders.
Better to see a dead bear in the back of trailer than a small body bag being loaded into the back of a hearse.
Hats off to the officer that took the one shot and those that gave him the authority to do so!
Job well done!
Given the circumstances with a neighbourhood full of kids, what other choice was there.
Perhaps take it on a little trip up north, only to have him return next year, no thanks - glad it is gone!
Monty Panoramic Drive
**************************** I would like to address the letter written in from the resident on Pagent Avenue.
Just a question: Do you not drive down any street other than your own?
The MNR have had traps in various locations, Paladin Ave, Promenade, Pentagon and the far end of the P-Patch to name but a few.
The bear has been around for a good couple of months, not a couple of weeks as suggested before on SooToday.
The MNR has actually relocated this bear once already this year to Chapleau and it has returned.
They've done their job quite well without destroying the bear.
On Sunday night before Halloween, someone was chased.
The bear has had many close encounters with people and is not scared away at all.
He was on top of a garage one night a month ago.
Up until recently, yes, he has shown no aggression towards people.
This big fellow has been in my yard several times.
Once I was foolish and left my garage outside as I had forgotten to put it into the garage.
This was our first encounter and you may have seen my photos on SooToday.
Ever since, I've always kept it indoors to avoid him.
However, this has not stopped him from wandering right through my front yard, in front of my front window, and snooping around.
I have two small children and one older one that I have had to watch closely and not let them out of the yard in fear that the bear was around.
He's come out in the wee early morning hours, at dusk, and has even been around at 3 p.m. in the afternoon when the kids are walking home from school.
A huge accident was gonna happen sooner or later.
Then on Halloween night, a couple kids happen to look and there he was - within feet of them.
Of course the cops were called... who else would have a gun big enough.
The bear showed a lot of aggression towards them.
He was shot.
Now if we waited around, on Halloween, while there are a ton of kids running around for a trap to be set and /or try to tranquilize it, do you actually think that the bear would have sat there waiting for that to happen?
Come on now.
It's sad that it came to this, but he was too big and too unpredictable to be around here.
Another important thing to note is that this bear has been trapped... the MNR can only do so much if they cannot catch him... the bear is smart enough to stay away from those steel cages.
For the resident on Pagent avenue, everyone around here was in fear mostly for our kids.
The bear could not be caught.
What else do you possibly think could be done?
It's unfortunate for the bear, but I am pretty sure that everyone feels a lot safer in the neighbourhood. From a Resident on Paladin Avenue.
One last note: The police have jurisdiction to do what they need to-to ensure the safety of others.
Do you know the heat the police station would get if they watched the bear walk away after all the trouble he's caused - and then the bear attacks a kid on Halloween?
Come on, seriously... give your head a little shake.
**************************** I speak on behalf of the P-Patch residents who applaud the police for their prompt response, and who are happy that this monstrous carnivore has finally been dispatched.
A Placid Avenue resident.
**************************** Earlier SooToday.com coverage of this story