Bears have been in the news here in New Mexico all week. First there was the bear that wandered into Santa Fe and amused folks who were hanging around not too far from the plaza. Then the Cibola National Forest announced the closure of two campgrounds and a trailhead because of bears.
In general, I think the public responds a few different ways to bear sightings like these: People worry about their pets and their personal safety, they feel put-upon by predators coming into their neighborhoods, or they are amused or excited by the sight of a bear. (Yes, I’m generalizing. Please feel free to disagree with me!)
But there’s a story in today’s Denver Post exposing the seriousness of the issue. Humans have pushed wildlife into smaller and smaller habitats. Now that the region is experience such a serious drought, many species, including bears, elk and deer can’t find enough to eat.
And the problem isn’t limited to New Mexico (or Colorado). Check out the story–and the drought maps that accompany it–here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/07/us/their-food-scarce-from-drought-animals-dine-in-town.html?_r=2&hpw
(And yes, I know that picture has nothing to do with the bears in New Mexico. But it’s a great image, isn’t it?)