The McNeil River State Game Sanctuary is the premier picnic area for Alaskan Brown Bears. Like no place else in the world, it has been a safe haven for the bears for years and human access, for viewing only, is carefully controlled. How often does one get to see so many bears in their own habitat up close and personal? You just don't.
A report on the CBS evening news warns us this may all come to an end. A buffer zone that had been established around the sanctuary to protect the bears is now slated to be eliminated for the sake of trophy hunters.
Trophy hunters? In this time of war all we hear about is shooting and killing. Nightly images bring the reality into our living rooms. That we would open protective territory to trophy hunters for the sake of tourist dollars just appalls me.
Maybe like the hunts for baby seals, this will slip quietly by. It's up in Alaska. Far, far away. We do know what stellar politicians they have representing them.
These bears have become used to human presence. They don't fear us because up to this point we've been no threat. Now we open them up to hunters? What kind of people are we?
True, I am an animal nut. To me life is sacred; especially our defenseless wildlife which is getting to be less and less with our destruction of their habitat. Do we have to kill them to enhance our walls and floors too? We don't need them for food nor clothing and with rifles with a range the distance from which you can barely see your target isn't what I would call sport. It's more like shooting Bambi, or Thumper, or Pooh - or Bacchus!
But then when our icons are the likes of Brittany on a bearskin rug I guess I'm "bearly" surprised.
Can't we at least "paws" and reflect on what we're doing much less what we're becoming?