Trust me. I am not a bear.




education not incarceration


So one day when my Dad was alive he decided that he was taking my mom and moving from Boca Raton to Boulder, Colorado.



One of them was sick and my sister and her family were out of town and I was home with one of my favorite dogs, Blue.



This was a great trip. I wrote a kick ass article about the issues with dogs in the open spaces for Boca Dog Magazine while I dealt with my aging parents medical issues.
One morning I was sleeping and Blue came in and would not leave me alone. This is one of best dogs I have ever known. You could take  her anywhere (except to  the vet and that’s another story) off leash. I’m having this crazy dream and Blue is waking me up and i’m digging the dream and I’m sleeping and she just won’t stop. I get up and she throws herself up against the window and down below I see this huge black bear feasting on the garbage.
I apologize to Blue and I just stand there and watch because I have no earthly idea of what to do.
I had seen lots of animals here. In the foothills of Boulder there are  deer, mountain lions,  but I had never seen a bear this close before. So i decided it (he she?)would eventually go away when it (he/she) was full.

Fast forward to a few years ago I was sitting at a table with my friend Maryanne and she’s pitching this film about “The Cape Cod Bear.” I love this idea. I knew about the Boulder bear and other bear stories and I thought it was great.

Fast forward again to last year I went up to Gainesville with Maryanne  to the Cinema Verde Environmental Film Festival and Maryanne had invited a guest to come to the screening  from Florida Wildlife and the one thing I learned from that day is “Don’t feed the bears.” That was the big sticking point. We, humans, are the worse enemy of the bears. Us.

One other thing I learned is that male bears leave their homes in search of mates far away because genetically that is the right thing to do. At this point the black bears in Florida are smarter than our legislators. They at have sense to follow their good intuition and do the right thing.

Sorry I digress.

So here is the film and maybe you all could watch it and learn something.  It’s play all over including

Official Selection 50th Annual Conference of the Animal Behavior Society at UC Boulder, CO

Rewilding America: Lessons Learned from the Cape Cod Bear

In May 2012, a black bear altered the course of Massachusetts wildlife history, completing a journey from the mainland to the tip of Cape Cod. The first bear sighting in centuries captured the imagination, attention and hearts of everyone from locals to tourists, law enforcement to TV crews and Tweeters all hoping to catch a glimpse or even capture the elusive bear himself. The film chronicles this bear’s travels while digging into the dilemma of human co-existence with an increasingly emboldened wildlife population across North America. Blending humor and hard hitting facts, the doc includes a range of perspectives from a wildlife biologist, zoo curator, veterinarian, cub rescuer, park rangers, hunter, Cape Cod nature writer and a Provincetown entrepreneur.

The film examines conservation with a focus on the conditions that lead individuals to participate in environmentally sustainable behaviors, thus assuring the continuity and health of wildlife and our shared landscapes.

Written, Produced and Directed by Maryanne Galvin

Edited by Maryanne Galvin & H. Adam Lenz

So fast forward to now.
Our Florida legislators are considering opening up hunting because we humans can’t stop feeding them.

and they are putting this in place.
TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – As the state tries to reduce dangerous interactions between bears and humans, lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that would change the penalties for feeding wildlife.
The Senate on Friday unanimously approved the bill (HB 7021), which passed the House earlier and now goes to Gov. Rick Scott.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, R-Mount Dora, and Rep. Jay Trumbull, R-Panama City, comes as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission prepares to give formal approval to a black bear hunt this fall — the first such hunt in two decades.
The hunt stems from interactions between bears and humans in some parts of the state, with wildlife officials saying a major cause of the problem is residents leaving out garbage that attracts bears.
The bill, in part, would increase penalties for people charged a fourth time with feeding bears and alligators not in captivity. The charge would be a third-degree felony.
Currently, a fourth offense of illegally feeding wildlife within a 10-year period is a first-degree misdemeanor.

So what is a third degree felony?
A third degree felony is the least serious of all the felonies.

3rd Degree Felonies
Posted on Dec 25, 2010 7:55am PST
3rd degree felonies are some of the most common felony offenses committed in Florida.

Everybody charged with a felony is facing a maximum sentence of state prison.

3rd degree felonies are punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison.  If you are a Habitual Offender (HO), you face 10 years for most 3rd degree felonies.

The penalties for 3rd degree felonies can range from PTI (Pretrial Intervention), all the way up to prison.

For the most part, 3rd degree felonies are non-violent property crimes and drug possession-level offenses.

Some examples of 3rd degree felonies are:

Possession of cocaine
Possession of oxycodone
Possession of marijuana (more than 20 grams)
Grand theft 3rd
Burglary of an unoccupied conveyance
Burglary of an unoccupied structure
Driving as a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO)
Aggravated assault
Felony battery
Battery on a law enforcement officer
Resisting an officer with violence
Uttering a forged instrument
3rd or subsequent DUI
3rd degree felonies are punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison.  If you are a Habitual Offender (HO), you face 10 years for most 3rd degree felonies.

The penalties for 3rd degree felonies can range from PTI (Pretrial Intervention), all the way up to prison.

dead bear

dead bear

So, if my adventure with the bear was today or at least when this law is past – orange would be my new black. As bad as possessing cocaine or battery on a law enforcement officer or forgery.


How in the world did we get here?

Instead of killing bears and going to jail why not educate people on how to deal with bears. This is not grizzly man.

and please stop feeding them.

Education not incarceration.


One comment on “Trust me. I am not a bear.

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