Help Stop The Killing Of A Young Bear Who Attacked Couple After Their Off-Leash Dog Charged Him
Published: October 12, 2021 at 08:33 PM Author: Penny Eims
Asheville, NC – On September 29, a couple took their dog into a protected area on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville. The couple broke the rules and let their dog roam off-leash, which resulted in the dog charging at a young bear in the area.
The dog’s barking agitated the bear and it resulted in the bear charging at, and attacking, the couple. In a statement, the Park Service said:
“Likely aggravated by the dog, the bear acted defensively toward the dog and the couple. Over the next several minutes, there were repeated attacks by the bear while the couple retreated with their dog to the safety of their vehicle,”
The couple drove to a hospital to be treated for minor injuries, but now the bear involved in the incident is destined to die. Wildlife officials have stated that if the correct bear is located and positively identified, it will be “humanely euthanized.”
Plans to kill the bear have not been well received by members of the public, who point out that human carelessness is to blame, not the bear’s aggression.
The couple with the dog broke the rules:
“The parkway is a sanctuary for bears, since it provides their natural, forested habitat, and hunting is prohibited. Dogs must be on a 6-foot leash on parkway land. Owners who do not leash their dogs face a possible fine.”
The couple most likely won’t face any charges, but the bear will be killed if he is identified. Does this seem fair? The bear was in his own habitat, and he reacted when aggressively charged by the dog – but he may die for having a natural reaction.
If you think this situation is wrong, and that this bear deserves to live, please sign the petition today!
Target: NC Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) along with the Chairs, Co-Chairs, and Members of the NC General Assembly Wildlife Resources House Standing Committee.
Update October 27, 2021: Animal Victory received the following response from the letter which was submitted with the petition and signatures. Of note, we are disappointed in this response and the agency’s unwillingness to investigate the situation further to see if the couple with the dog should be facing charges.
Dear Ms. Babington and Ms. Eims,
I highly encourage you to share the BearWise information with your network. Asheville actually has a lot of high quality bear habitat in wooded areas within the city limits. But the availability of things such as bird feeders, pet food, and garbage can result in a higher density of bears than in a wilderness area. Furthermore, habituation to these human-supplied foods can result in bears losing their natural fear of humans resulting in a situation that is more dangerous for humans AND for the bears.
NC Wildlife Resources Commission
Update October 25, 2021: Animal Victory sent 17,583 signatures along with our PETITION LETTER to the following: