Why? Seems to require some explanation. The experts are the people who know the most on the topic and who live and work in the area we're discussing. Surely to be "wary" of their judgements, we'd need a compelling reason?
"experts" aren't always correct. This has been proven time and time again over centuries. You can't take what is said as being 100% correct, or in blind faith... Depends on individual expouting those judgements and the reasoning behind them - isn't that what the this discussion is about; some 'expert's' opinion and reason as to why the bear was killed?
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that there's a risk of humans being killed by bears. They view us like they'd view a deer or fish - only we're slower and easier to catch...
Except that deer and fish are staple foods for them and humans aren't. Fairly major and substantive difference.
To a degree, sure. However, humans are still considered edible to any bear - they just don't encounter humans as often as the deer or fish.
Yogi likes a picnic basket, but he doesn't encounter many
(yeah, okay, so the average bear isn't exactly thinking of eating humans in the same way Yogi thinks of the contents of picnic baskets)
Why exactly should any animal in it's own natural habitat be killed because some humans wish to venture into that habitat?
"At your own risk" is something that seems to be overlooked by modern society. We laugh at some nitwit who climbs into the lion's enclosure at a zoo and wonders why he gets eaten. Same with climbing into a shark tank.
There's no difference with the bear at Yellowstone - it's just a larger 'enclosure' and the bear isn't fed by keeps, so must source it's own food.
These are good questions.
"At your own risk" applies here. There is no way the park management can or should attempt to guarantee safety of those using the park, no matter what management strategies they take, short of eliminating the wildlife or removing visitors. So there is inherent risk even in the case where park managers decide to eliminate a bear who has demonstrated unusual behavior which significantly increases risk to park visitors. There is a substantive risk whether they kill the bear or not, as it's certain that given enough time, other bears will in time exhibit this behavior.
I also think it's fair to say there is a massive difference between some nitwit entering a tiger cage at a zoo and a family or individual taking a walk in a National Park. There is a fairly massive difference in the expectation of safety, even though both contain some risk. One would be an extremely low-risk, moderate reward activity almost anyone would participate in, and one is the act of a lunatic or drug-addled maniac. So that comparison is wholly convincing.
The problem is that if you have a bear which is showing signs that it is unusually willing to attack humans for food, you kind of need to address it in a park which has millions of visitors a year. They need to maintain some kind of balance between human use, reasonable safety, and the welfare of the animal population as a whole. Allowing man-killing bears to remain in the park is bad policy, bad PR, and bad park management. Could they have moved the bear elsewhere? I don't know. I'll bet they're not over-funded or flush with extra equipment and manpower. I don't know if it directly relates to this situation, but from speaking with a good friend who works for Lassen and Rainier NP, they're not exactly getting what they think they need in terms of funding.
'guarantee of safety
' - completely agree that the NP can't provide this, unfortunately, we're now in a world where those visiting the NP expect this. The risk is always there...
NP versus zoo enclosure - this is the difference in risk
. Small enclosure, then the chance of encountering the inhabiting creature(s) is VERY high. Larger enclosure, then the lower the chance of encountering the inhabiting creature(s). The risk is still there, but the exposure reduces as the enclosure size goes up.
Now, did the bear exhibit unusual
behaviour when you consider the situation of brown bears protecting their young? And following that, did the bear in question make the attack "willingly
" and "for food
", as you mention?
Mother bears with a couple of cubs are pretty hard pushed to hunt for food in general while caring/protecting their young, so when opportunity knocks... I'd be pretty sure they'd take it. As intimated previously; was it just the adult bear doing the feeding or did the young partake as well?
Now, going back to the NP - I completely get their position - they have a Park to run and money to make from the visitors coming to it, so they can't just shut the park because it's the birthing season for bears. They're hard pushed for funds, so would be reluctant to reduce those funds any further. Hence why the exercise becomes nothing more than PR damage control... "Hey folks, don't worry about that bear attack we just had coz we killed this rogue animal, so roll up, roll up!
So, were the "expert" rangers selling a story or were they completely correct on the situation and justification of killing this bear?