Would You Live Next Door to a (Non-Human) Predator?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | September 16th, 2011 | 54 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living

Grizzly Bears

This summer — like almost every summer for the past decade or so — was rife with headlines about people being assaulted by wild animals. “Seven teens attacked by grizzly in Alaska’s Talkeetna Mountains,” read a headline in the Anchorage Daily News on July 25, 2011. And, “Two teenagers have life-threatening injuries after being mauled by a grizzly bear while on a survival skills course in the Alaskan wilderness,” the first line of a Guardian feature informed us.

The italics on the words “mountains” and “wilderness” above, however, are mine. I think it noteworthy where these events took place. Against our ever-increasing penchant for developing remote areas and fragmenting wildlife corridors, the world’s largest predators have been squeezed onto smaller and smaller pockets, with nowhere to go but the mountains and the wilderness. Today, grizzlies, wolves, tigers and lions are having trouble finding room to be grizzlies, wolves, tigers and lions. And, without them, our planet is in big trouble.

A recent report authored by twenty-four scientists at institutions around the globe and published by the National Science Foundation (NSF) has found that the decline of large predators and other, what they call, “apex consumers,” at the top of the food chain, has disrupted ecosystems worldwide. After perusing results from a wide range of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystem studies, the scientists concluded “the loss of apex consumers is arguably humankind’s most pervasive influence on the natural world.”

But given our current relationship with top predators, is there any way we can make room for them in our lives?

Cascading troubles

Bison

When non-human animals and humans collide, it is almost always the animals that suffer. ©Henry H. Holdsworth

When non-human animals and humans collide, it is almost invariably the non-human animals who suffer. Just look at the two news stories mentioned above, where words like “attacked” and “mauled” are used. The teenagers inadvertently surprised the grizzly, who had a cub, and its actions were most likely “protective” — at least from the animal’s point of view — rather than combative. That kind of verbiage echoes a similar, recent event in Yellowstone National Park, where a bison “gored” a woman who was purposely striding toward it, in what could have been interpreted by the animal as an aggressive act.

According to James Estes, a marine ecologist and evolutionary biologist at the University of California–Santa Cruz and the lead author of the NSF report, the decline of the world’s largest predators — largely due to hunting and habitat fragmentation — has far more devastating consequences than just a diminishing of a species’ population numbers. An ecosystem’s vegetation, wildfire frequency, infectious diseases, invasive plants and animals, water quality, and nutrient cycles are all impacted when a top predator is removed. When a change at the top of the food chain triggers a string of effects that moves down through the descending levels, the term trophic cascade is used.

For example, the extirpation of wolves in Yellowstone National Park led to overbrowsing of aspen and willows by elk; the reintroduction of wolves allowed the vegetation to recover. When sea otter populations plummeted, coastal ecosystems suffered dramatic changes. Sea otters maintain coastal kelp forests by controlling the number of kelp-grazing sea urchins. And the decimation of sharks caused an outbreak of cow-nosed rays and the collapse of shellfish populations in many estuarine habitats.

The predator next door

Unfortunately, large predators such as grizzly bears and wolves can’t survive on an acre of land. These types of animals need large territories, so making sure they have enough room to go about their livelihoods often conflicts with human needs and goals. Leaving wilderness areas in Alaska, Nebraska or Montana undeveloped might mean doing without another oil pipeline. Letting the mountains be “mountains” might mean forgoing another mine.

Wolf

The extirpation of wolves in Yellowstone National Park led to overbrowsing by elk. ©Henry H. Holdsworth

In my own state of Wisconsin, I have watched as more and more people move into the Northwoods. Many of the newcomers feel there are too many wolves here (about eight hundred), and that having them nearby is just too dangerous. The wolves have to go.

But if the goal of conservation is to restore functional ecosystems, then it would seem that protecting and keeping an area’s large predators is fundamental.

The question is: Would you mind living next door to a predator?

Happy trails,

Candy

Feature photo: The planet’s largest predators are being squeezed onto smaller and smaller pockets. ©Eric Rock



Comments

  1. Nothing gets my blood boiling more than coal.

    Jack | September 19th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  2. Could I live next door to a area with the top predators? Yes, I would love to. There is a great documentary called ” Lords of Nature ” that you can purchase, that shows what happens when the top predators are missing from the ecosystem.

    John H Gaukel | September 19th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  3. I think I’d probably be willing to share land with wolves or bears, but it’s hard to say without actually having the experience. I suppose the problem basically is related to human overpopulation. Unfortunately, human population is hard to control; efforts at legislating birth rates typically don’t work well, for obvious reasons, nor should that be the optimal solution. I think the best answer is to level the distribution of wealth, as wealthy people tend to have fewer children. Over time, this will lead to less need to expand into areas that were formerly wilderness.

    Nine Quiet Lessons | September 19th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  4. The attached article is interesting and is closely related to the book “Monster of God” by David Quammen. I presently live in an area where mountain lions and black bears are common, at least from their standpoint. I play and work in these habitats and have come across bears at close distances. I believe an answer to this question is similar to the one dealing with water in the southwestern United States. We live/play in the desert, acknowledge it and live WITH it. If you are going to live in an area where top carnivores are present, acknowledge them and live WITH them. Or move to a larger city where the only threats are from the two-legged predators, which in my mind are much less predictable.

    Robert Magill | September 20th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  5. I do live next door to bears, foxes, coyotes and mountain lions and their interactions with humans have been increasing in my area. These interactions, in my experience, don’t have much to do with man’s desire for “more space” or encroaching into “wilderness habitats” though. They have more to do with man’s providing an easy and reliable source of food. Once an animal associates man with a food supply their chain of logic is hard to break and usually results in the animal’s death.

    My community began requiring wildlife resistant garbage containers three years ago. The number of incidents has dropped dramatically. My friends who actually live in the wilderness areas learn very quickly how to avoid feeding and attracting wildlife. It’s much easier to train humans than animals!

    Dusty Demerson | September 20th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  6. I live with grizzlies, wolves and mountain lions nearly in the back yard, and prefer to live in places where ecosystems are intact…all too rare on this planet. However, we need far more education for people to live safely and securely around top predators: in schools, in community workshops and one-on-one with ranchers and homeowners. Conflicts make real economic and emotional impacts, especially here in the Rockies where generations got used to the idea of predators only persisting in remote wilderness areas. With the wolf reintroductions and grizzly numbers rebounding…all conservation successes…now these animals are on our doorsteps. We need a paradigm shift, so that people secure attractants and stock, employ electric fencing, and travel with pepper spray simply as a way of life. There are practical solutions to reduce conflicts, increase people’s tolerance and allow us to coexist, but sometimes predators will be killed and it may take another generation for folks to get used to the idea of coexistence.

    Christine Paige | September 20th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  7. Not grizzlies!! I have lived near black bears, mountain lions, coyotes and rattlesnakes for years. I had a 3′ western diamondback on my back patio last month. These are fine, even with my small dogs. But I draw the line at grizzly bears…

    Armor Todd | September 20th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  8. I would find it fascinating. I oppose the idea of destroying an animal because someone thinks they need more space. It that is the case, why not relocate the animal to a protected wilderness park. This is a situation that occurs often in Florida especially in regards to the endangered Florida Panther. It really sickens me. How much space do we really need? I live with racoons, owls, snakes and more in my backyard. Yes, I know these critters are not a bear or panther but I would not exclude them from my space.

    Nina Zapala | September 21st, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  9. Of course I would. There are more dangerous things I use every day: highways, coal-powered energy, etc. These things kill more people each year than wolves and bears. With a little understanding of animal instincts we can live together peacefully. We have as a species for tens of thousands of years.

    Lea Zeise | September 21st, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  10. I live in Chandler, Arizona and as the cities expand into the desert, the presence of animals increases. You hear from time to time about predators invading back yards or patios, but are they really invading? You just have to be aware of what you leave outside within reach.

    Larry Payne | September 21st, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  11. I do have bears, wolves, deer and elk for neighbors. It’s a way of life when you live in the Rockies. We generally respect each other’s space.

    Lois Friedland | September 21st, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  12. First, we should not be encroaching on habitats that are crucial for predators and the prey they depend on. Be it for residential or industrial reasons, the encroachment leads to habitat fragmentation or outright destruction, and its resulting effects on wildlife populations.
    More importantly in my mind is the habituation of wildlife to humans. Various authors and biologists have written and spoken about this. One example is the work of retired wildlife professor Valerius Geist, who has looked at the ancient European literature on predators, primarily wolves. According to that volume of literature, residing near or among predators is definitely a safety hazard.

    Paul Wilson | September 21st, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  13. In a second. It is far safer than living around other humans. That is just a plain fact. And no, of course we should not kill other large predators because we want more and more space (all while we leave vast areas of space abandoned and unreclaimed), it makes zero sense.

    James Burnham | September 21st, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  14. I’m an appraiser and I see exotic animals in people’s yards or properties and do appraisals way, way out in the sticks where things like mountain lions and bears are real.

    I’ll take my chances with humans. Guns and spray are pretty effective at fending off humans. Not so much with mountain lions and bears. Anything short of a kill shot and you’ve got problems…

    I wonder if any of you would change your opinion after you have met someone up close who has been gored by one of these animals.

    Charles E. Jack IV, MAI | September 22nd, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  15. I agree with Charles. And anyone that thinks bears are cute and cuddly and we can safely live with them should watch the movie Grizzly Man. That will change your mind!

    David Risch | September 22nd, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  16. Large predator attacks on humans, even in areas where they are common are incredibly rare. I know far more people harmed by people than animals, and yes, as a wildlife biologist in my past career I have worked in areas and with people that have lived in such remote areas. These stories are “news” specifically because they are rare incidents. Unfortunately, deaths in car accidents, muggings, sexual assaults, etc are not so rare (though in the grand scheme, these are (thankfully) not common either.)

    James Burnham | September 22nd, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  17. They were there first. They deserve a place to live. I live where there are black bears — which aren’t aggressive, but are pretty large.

    Jane Primerano | September 22nd, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  18. Wolves, black bear, cougar – I don’t mind having neighbors. No, I don’t think we should destroy them. As a Northwesterner, I’m excited that wolves are back in Oregon over near Hells Canyon and Imnaha.

    Barbara Bond | September 22nd, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  19. We have bobcats and coyotes in north western New Jersey and some folks are saying the wolves are back and possibly even mountain lions — something with really large paws has “disappeared” a few barn cats nearby. You’d think cats wouldn’t eat other cats. . .

    Jane Primerano | September 22nd, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  20. They aren’t invading. They’re coming home.

    Jane Primerano | September 22nd, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  21. I agree. But,it seems like a lot of people out here don’t understand that.

    Larry Payne | September 22nd, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  22. Out at the end of Long Island they call people like that citiots.

    Jane Primerano | September 22nd, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  23. Heck no…

    I saw a mountain lion attack victim. These animals are not playing around. Wouldn’t want to be near a guy with chimpanzee’s or orangutans either.

    Definitely an issue and not something you want to play around with. Bears are nasty, too, especially if you’re in a Grizzly area.

    When it goes wrong, it goes waay, waay, wrong with these animals. I would take my chances with a dying from Black Lung or dying in a car accident any day of the week rather than getting mauled by a bear or having my skull clawed off in a chimp attack.

    Nothing short of packing a gun and toting some bear spray on a constant basis would be wise in these types of areas. And you still woudn’t be safe….

    Charles E. Jack IV, MAI | September 22nd, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  24. I live in a rural, coyote-prone area. We also have black bears hereabouts. NS has no poisonous snake or spider species, so I’m lucky that way. But there has been a fairly recent human fatality in NS owing to a coyote attack, and several other close calls. So I’m wary of these animals. The eastern coyote is a hybrid between the western coyote and the wolf, so it’s a BIG animal, and much more dangerous with those wolf genes in the mix.

    I’ve adapted. My cats live indoors except under strict supervision. (There are eagles too, and they love a tasty cat dinner). I watch where I walk at night. I don’t leave edibles outside, beyond what goes to the crows and stray cats during the daylight hours. So far, so good.

    Brenda J Tate | September 22nd, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  25. Have we as a society reached the point where a conscious decision to prefer to live next to an animal takes precedents over another person who has negative social and interpersonal relationships? How spiritual is that? Have we just given up? How many more places can we move to?

    What next? Gated communities with armed guards that feed the animals then kill the other ‘animals’? I do not want to live next to drug dealers and at the same time if we remember the adage of it takes a community to raise a child what happens?

    Wasn’t there anything in the spiritual books about love thy neighbor as thyself? Does this mean the political process that enables this NIMBY attitude continue to spin its web of ugly social destruction to allow real estate development to continue to destroy natural resources and the environment under the disguise of ‘green environments’?

    I don’t know the answer to any of this. Have we reached the point as a society where people decide that returning to the city is the worst thing that you can do because ‘those drug dealers and hookers’ live there, only to watch people from other countries move in and within one generation take over the area, redevelop it, learn the political process and usher in their own politicians who will write the rules for those who chose to live with animals?

    Jimmy Cathey | September 22nd, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  26. citiots – I like that! My mom’s yard ends at a protected area. We are thrilled when we spot a coyote, deer or even raccoons! We need to live in harmony with the animals – we are the ones who have encroached on their territory.

    Mauverneen Blevins | September 22nd, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  27. Charles E. Jack IV, MAI | September 22nd, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  28. Charles E. Jack IV, MAI | September 22nd, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  29. Maybe I’m a little biased but I think all of you would be shocked at the number of exotic animals in urban or suburban neighborhoods. I’m talking pythons, alligators, chimps, orangutans, tigers, bears, lions, etc. These things get loose and it can get real dicey real quick…

    I guess I have a lot more confidence in defending my family from a human than I do with a natural predator animal. And statistically, you are probably right that humans represent a bigger risk than animals. But that’s no comfort when you actually contemplate the damage these things can inflict and the risks they represent, especially those in a captive urban or suburban environment.

    Anybody ever seen how big a tiger’s paws and jaws are up close and personal? (I did Siegfried and Roy property as a young pup appraiser. We all know what happened to Roy…)

    Charles E. Jack IV, MAI | September 22nd, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  30. Of course, your mom has to put a padlock on her garbage cans since raccoons can open “raccoon-proof” cans.

    Jane Primerano | September 22nd, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  31. I live in Central Florida. I found a six foot alligator under my car once. You just don’t go swimming in the swamp.

    Bob Cherny | September 23rd, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  32. I live on the edge of Anchorage Alaska. Each year someone gets mauled by a bear, usually from running or bicycling too fast on a wooded trail. I have turned around on several runs just feeling too hinky. I’ve carried bear spray and guns and no matter what you do you are pushing your luck if your on their trail. But I’d rather live here than any big city where I can be shot, robbed, runover etc. With the wildlife it isn’t personal.

    For some nice wildlife shots check out
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.202505389813792.53203.201904909873840

    Mark | September 27th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  33. I agree with Paul. I would like to point out though, that from my experience in working in Belarus and Russia, humans are a definite safety hazard for wolves and bears. When I lived in Southern-Eastern Washington State, my neighbors included a female cougar that passed through my garden at least once a week. I never considered this mountain lion to be a threat.

    Constantine | September 28th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  34. I am all for being a good steward of what I believe God has given us dominion over. I think that we have to be responsible when we step out in to the woods and if possible prevent dangerous encounters. There will always be risk heading out in the back country and sometimes bad things just happen. I would not consider myself an environmentalist but personally I would much rather be able to pepper spray a bear so it can live an learn to avoid people. With that said I always carry a firearm when I hike alone because bear spray into a stiff wind is not exactly effective. Hopefully I will never have to use it.

    There is certainly nothing wrong with respecting animals and wanting to protect them but I feel there is a growing trend to put animals above people. That to me is so dangerous, the safety of animals should never come before the safety of humans. People make some pretty stupid mistakes that unfortunately put some animals at risk or in danger like feeding them that inevitably ends with the animal being put down. Irresponsible to say the least, but if I have to choose between a bear protecting it’s cub attacking a hiker that startled it, I would not even hesitate to shoot the bear. Humans over animals….every time.

    Casey | September 28th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  35. I agree with everything just posted, almost. And in the scenario of self defense I hope I would have the luck and skills to do the same, shoot the bear. However, living in Alaska there is a lot of discussion about animal habit in conflict with human habit. And while I like some humans a dispassionate point of view is that humans ARE animals. And that if we continue with short term self interest GIA will get rid of us like a ship gets rid of rats when there are too many. All I am saying is that as the most powerful predator on the planet there are times we have to put our appetite on hold or we will kill the golden goose.

    Mark | September 28th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  36. You don’t have to be in the heart of the Rockies or Alaska to encounter such situations. Black bear have traveled into the Milwaukee area. Wolves have been spotted in the Sheboygan Marsh. And mountain lions have been caught on camera south of Plymouth just off of Hwy 57. So whether many people in the more populous parts of Wisconsin know it or not, you’re already neighbors with predators. Those that live in the Northern Kettle Moraine area and hike or ride the trails there should probably be aware of these facts. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to avoid unwanted “encounters” with predators. They are magnificent creatures to be sure. But when they are placed in such close proximity to people, you should be able to defend yourself and your pets/livestock against attacks.

    Wayne | September 28th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  37. I lived among cougars in southern Chile for a year, and while I did not fear for my life, we did have a couple of cats roam near my camp and the park guard post where one park guard had a small child. One cougar nonchalantly walked down the middle of the road while we all stood there watching. Obviously, some habituation was taking place for that cat!
    An interesting read is David Baron’s “The Beast in the Garden” about the cougar attack near Boulder, Colorado. Also, the books of Jim Corbett are interesting reading about man-eating tigers and leopards in India between 1930s to about 1950. Corbett also worked for tiger conservation in India and a National Park is named after him. There is a good biography of Corbett titled “Carpet Sahib” (1991 paperback). All these are good read about living near large cats.

    Paul | September 28th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  38. depends on the human…

    Armor | September 28th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  39. I like what Mark said; when animals attack, “it isn’t personal”. If we humans are the intelligent species, it should be a “no-brainer” that these animals only have between 1-3% of habitat left!!! “Manifest Destiny” has been a runaway train, and it seems like humans aren’t happy unless they HAVE IT ALL. I’ve lived in Texas all my life where there’s little to nothing WILD left about it. Most of the large predators have been killed off, which has caused overpopulation of prey species like whitetail deer. Due to drought conditions and no natural predators, these animals are starving to death! Education is KEY, and we need to turn this tide before it’s too late!

    debbie | September 28th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  40. “Good fences make good neighbors.” It would be wonderful to share my neighborhood with large predators, but I wouldn’t want me or my family to be harmed by them. If I lived in such a place I’d be glad to put up an adequate barrier between them and my home and animals for protection.

    The more complicated, controversial issue is for ranchers who can’t afford to build an adequate fence for many livestock.

    Scott | September 28th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  41. Every animal but maybe spiders have a right to be here on the planet as much if not more then we humans do. Animals usually give a sign before they attack no matter how small or if your looking or not. It can be as simple as a look or twitch of an ear to a quick stomp or scuff of the hand. I for one wished I had neighbors like that.

    Vivian Barnes | September 29th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  42. I have no problem living next to ‘non-human’ predators, yup one has to be extra vigilant, watchful and aware. But when living in that environment (theirs, we are encroaching on them), I at least know that I am alive and with nature…
    The city has so many other ‘dangers’, mostly human or as a result of human behaviour that this isn’t even a contest…

    Andrew | September 30th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  43. It is not against the law in self defense. It was attacking Perry’s dog unprovoked.

    Casey | September 30th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  44. Already do – mountain lions! Unfortunately several years ago that totally changed the way I go mountain biking as we lost a good neighbor, Mark Reynolds, to a mtn lion attack. My wife made me promise to never trail ride alone. FYI – the helicopter that shot the mtn lion was flying so close to our house we heard the gun shot live before we ever heard it on the TV coverage.

    Personally – we already live in the ‘animal kingdom’ and need to learn to adapt and adopt a lot better!

    Jack Pouchet | October 1st, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  45. I live next to Mission Trails Park in San Diego and we have predators (coyotes, bobcats and occasional cougars) and it just isn’t wise for folks that have pets to keep them outdoors. If you live right next to open country, your pets need to be indoors at all times. No we should not destroy predators because we are invading their spaces.

    Bonnie Flach | October 11th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  46. Having never been much of a hunter, I prefer the camera. But being stealthy in the woods can also lead to unwelcome confrontations with our sharp-toothed brethren. For that reason, I don’t go walking in the wild with my dogs or without personal protection. But then again, my largest surprise was a cougar, not a bear.

    I believe strongly in “live and let live”, and part of the enjoyment of my life comes from seeing wild animals in the wild. But doing that requires a large amount of vigilance on my part to make sure that nothing I do, whether underwater or in the woods, leads to a fatal collision with another species. Like Casey, I am not going to withhold shooting to save a human life, but neither will I waste the life of an animal unnecessarily. “Sharing the space” requires a watchfulness of all of us humans, and a greater understanding of how we can avoid or respond to dangerous encounters.

    Ken | October 12th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  47. The only non-human predator I live next to is my neighbour’s dog… I don’t want him there, he’s bitten his owner’s child! Not a good thing. :(

    Trish | October 13th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  48. As human predators we form our destiny through choices. I personally prefer to survive. There is no reason for me to directly compete with non-human predators.
    As with all predators, we are also territorial. It’s the way of life and how we and other creatures survive.

    Gary Manthe | October 27th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  49. I would have to sleep in a vault surrounded by a very tall electric wall, before I consider residing adjacent to or anywhere near a large carnivorous or omnivorous beast populated area.

    As for killing (destroy is a word for inanimate objects, lets call it what it is) predators, we have done so since hunting wooly mammoths to extinction, tens of thousands of years ago, do you think we will ever stop?

    The solution is simple, thin out the human population.

    George Baiami | November 3rd, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  50. I would have to sleep in a vault surrounded by a very tall electric wall, before I consider residing adjacent to or anywhere near a large carnivorous or omnivorous beast populated area.

    As for killing (destroy is a word for inanimate objects, lets call it what it is) predators, we have done so since hunting wooly mammoths to extinction, tens of thousands of years ago, do you think we will ever stop?

    The solution is simple, thin out the human population.

    George Smith | November 26th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  51. Thinning out the human population would solve a lot of problems, but that’s not very popular either. Or very realistic.

    Monica McFarland | November 26th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  52. I was never bothered by living around black bears and cougars, nor about the reintroduction of grizzlies…until we had kids. Especially as we learned of (very) occasional cougar attacks on kids in the region, which, I must admit, raised some primal concerns, despite my wife and I being lifelong mountaineers/hikers/treehuggers; if misgivings about predators got to us, you can imagine how most people react. Toss in concern for livestock and hunting, and you have yourself enough political potential energy to do environmentalism serious harm.

    I agree with Paul’s conclusion that habitat encroachment should be discouraged. However, I’d add that “encroachment” is an incredibly broad term when it comes to places where humans, cougars and bears cross paths–which includes most suburban fringes in the western US and Canada.

    I live only five miles from the center of my city, yet a cougar downed a deer in my neighbor’s yard a couple of years ago. If you try to tell people on my block that they shouldn’t be here, they’ll tell you’re crazy and spend the rest of their lives voting down everything they think you like or might like. Be careful with this.

    David Camp | November 26th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  53. I would like to be a good neighbor to a large carnivore. But I find that after generations of dealing with humans, the carnivores avoid humans. They just cannot compete with rifles, and too many humans are bad neighbors to them.
    The worried reports of attacks on humans stated above should be underscored by “occasional”. While a concern, so are car accidents and lightening strikes, which are more common.
    Do a search for “living with wildlife” and learn how to live with wildlife.

    Mathieu | November 26th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  54. At our home in Bayfield, Wisconsin, we share with many wonderful critters; foxes, black squirrels, black bears, flying squirrels (which got in our walls), bears, wolves near by, fishers, badgers, deer, and our cat Sunny’s favorite: chipmunks!

    Mitch | December 7th, 2011 | Comment Permalink

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