Update: Death of Princess Ursus Americanus of North Bend
Alas, the North Bend bear with the gold earring and her cubs were killed.
I was going to continue with my fairy tale theme seen in the original story below, but I can’t; it just stinks.
After pounding the drums for the past 5 years with 17 bear-related stories warning of what could happen if we don’t clean up our collective act, the worst has happened. A female bear and her three cubs were killed by fish and wildlife officers on Wednesday evening.
This mother bear came out of her slumber in March with three cubs and began her rounds of garbage cans and bird feeders. With trash always being an abundant resource in North Bend, she began her process of teaching these three little ones to do the same.
Her behavior worsened over the next six months to the point where she would break into locked garages and sheds. Last Friday afternoon, on a hot day, she interrupted a family picnic at a table 20 feet from their front door. The residents retired and the foursome sat down to lunch in the hot sun. Did that look cute? Sure. Was it dangerous? Yes.
When she and the cubs finished their lunch, she then pushed herself through the resident’s open window and consumed a bowl of pasta salad on the kitchen counter. No amount of shouting, scolding or honking could deter her from her mission.
Over the months, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) tried to trap this bear family, but she was a smart bear and evaded many attempts to catch her.
Wednesday evening, she broke into a van, the door closed behind her, and she found herself trapped. She completely destroyed the van and the decision was made to kill her and her three cubs.
Although it is very sad, I support the difficult decision the officers had to make. Why? Because I live in this neighborhood and have seen the very scary progression of behavior. I got this bear out of the bushes and spoke to a neighbor who was accused of bluffing and another who suffered significant property damage from his foraging behavior.
I have seen many posts on social media over the last day and a half that are very angry with the owner of the van. It wasn’t their fault. Her life and that of her young ended at home, but the community shares a collective responsibility in her death.
- Take out your trash early
- Failed to secure your can during the week (bear cans are available throughout the valley)
- Feeding birds or squirrels or your pet outside
- Left a dirty barbecue on your porch
- Failed to clean fallen fruit under fruit trees
…..you share the blame, period. I know it’s more comfortable to be able to blame someone else but stop, stop now.
I also understand that this won’t be a popular opinion, and I’ll probably get a lot of comments telling me how wrong I am.
I don’t care and I’m not wrong.
We’ve all killed those bears, and we need to stop. Now
[This story is developing and will be updated]
Original story from May 2022
Once upon a time, in the land of the Pacific Northwest, there was a tranquil and scenic kingdom in the Evergreen Valley.
This valley was nestled against a magnificent range of snow-capped mountains to the east and was far from the kingdoms to the west. In the beginning, the settlers and the native inhabitants of the valley lived harmoniously in the natural beauty of this peaceful accommodation.
But sweet, over time, as the west grew, western natural spaces disappeared and the subjects of these kingdoms lost their connection to nature.
When the Valley Kingdom was vast in size but humble in citizens, Westerners began to take notice of this beautiful, peaceful accommodation, leaving behind their most populated cities to start anew in the Evergreen Valley.
Small towns grew larger, and houses were built where huge timberlands once stood. Some valley dwellers were unhappy with the changes, but nonetheless, there was still plenty of room for everyone to coexist peacefully with a little effort.
This is the story of a western princess who suffered a huge tragedy when the lady moved to the peaceful Evergreen Valley.
This princess never really belonged in the west; the neighborhood the lady lived in didn’t understand her, and there were too many ways to be a royal villain. The Powers That Be presented the young woman with a gold earring and told her that she was now banished from the Western Kingdom.
So, at what time the princess had the opportunity to start a new life in the valley, she took the bait, and in the blink of an eye the lady found herself in a new place.
The move may be painful and not immediately successful every moment, but the lady hit the ground running to try. The valley had everything the lady needed to lead a successful life; the lady just needed a chance and the cooperation of the local villagers.
Her first location did not please her, so the mistress moved a little closer to the city and got to know her fellow forest dwellers. Initially, she tried to enjoy the natural beauty and abundance of the area, but old demons tempted her.
Yet the princess tried to resist the temptation, met her prince, and settled down in a cold winter valley to await the delivery of her firstborn. Birth and spring came with a sense of renewal, but unfortunately her mischievous quirks put her in the wrong place at the wrong time, and her newborn had perished.
The following year was marked by compounded self-destructive behavior by the townspeople who, despite being aware of his nature, allowed him to spiral downward. Another season ended with the princess fat, unhealthy, and once again in childbirth.
Her second child survived, but the lady spent the next two years dragging the tot around all her old haunts, looking for an easy meal, teaching her young prince who lacked habits of bravery. The villagers now claimed to have had enough of his behavior but did nothing to stop or help him.
By what time the Princess was last seen in the Evergreen Valley, she had given birth to three other royals and was dragging them around town, as were the last two. By then, the townspeople had lost all tolerance for the Princess with the Gold Earring, though they had done nothing to change her fate, and her forever happiness now seemed in jeopardy. .
So, where is the princess with the gold earring from, and who is she? Well, we don’t know where, but we know who.
The princess with the gold earring, aka Daisy, Sam, or, in my house, “*@%^ she’s still in the neighbor’s trash can”, is a BIG bear.
According to Rich Beausoleil, Statewide Bear & Cougar expert for the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the department has two colors of ear tags they use on bears, red and yellow. Red = research, which means it was captured as a research animal and probably bonded at some point without contact with people.
A yellow ear tag (sometimes combined with a collar) means it was a bear captured by non-research personnel, most often officers, and was in a situation around people, like getting into attractants like garbage, birdseed, and fruit trees.
said Beausoleil, “Many of these bears are simply released into their home range, and the attractants addressed. However, the yellow lets us know that the bear was previously captured in a developed area; the number makes it possible to know exactly which bear it is, and a database is kept on its history.
So this bear was probably captured somewhere more populated than Snoqualmie Valley and brought here for safety.
We let our bear princess down a lot.
According to WDFW information on conflict prevention, “Bears tend to avoid humans. However, human-habituated bears are bears that, due to prolonged exposure to humans, have lost their natural fear or distrust of humans. Bears conditioned by human food are those that associate people with food. These bears can become aggressive in their search for a meal.”
Additionally, WDFW notes that 95% of office calls are the result of people’s irresponsibility: access to garbage, pet food, bird feeders, and improper storage of food. food while camping make up most calls.
We can lock up our attractants; this includes garbage, pet food and birdseed (including chicken feed). Clean up around fruit trees, make sure barbecue grills are clean and odor-free, and don’t leave personal care products (scented candles or air fresheners) outside.
If you see a bear, admire it from afar for a few precious moments, then shout, stomp, clap your hands, and convince it that places where people aren’t fun.
Additionally, Beausoleil asks that people report sightings of bears, especially ear-tagged bears, to our local WDFW office. Reporting sightings immediately is important; people can help the bears all the more by doing so because it allows the WDFW to intervene and not let the situation progress.
said Beausoleil, “A lot of people think that if they call WDFW, the animal can be killed. It just isn’t – and they’re doing the bear a disservice – we’re not going to kill animals to take advantage of the calories. But we have to stop the cycle of rewards so that the bear does not get used to it. This may involve capturing the bear, but it also involves talking to people and trying to get people to stop rewarding bears (intentionally or not).
So please help our valley bears by doing the right thing.
[You may also contact [email protected] for a ‘Living in Bear Country’ pamphlet and Waste Management and Republic Services offer bear cans in the area]