There's been a flurry of tragic, odd and mystifying events taking place in the crossover zone where wildlife and humans meet. In case simple things like the free-falling stock market, lack of job creation, increasing deficits and the ever-increasing questioning of the Constitution have most of your attention, I'm here to bring you wildlife news.
First up, two back to back coyote attacks on children have taken place in the span of four days in suburban New York and the events occurred only 1.5 miles apart. The first attack last Friday involved two coyotes that charged a 6-year-old girl in her front yard. She escaped with scratches. The second attack, mind you only 1.5 miles away, took place Tuesday when a coyote targeted a 3-year-old in her backyard. She too made it through the harrowing event with non-life-threatening injuries. Do you know what suburban New York needs? They need some Western-style predator management.
Next up, and tragically more severe was the elderly Illinois hiker that met up unexpectedly with a Wyoming grizzly bear. Strangely, the bear in question had just been darted and collared by a bear research team. In fact, the research team was the first contact the worried relatives had when searching for the victim. Sadly, the gentleman didn't survive the mauling and soon after the grizzly in question also received a death sentence. According to news reports the area was posted and signed as being an active bear research area, but the hiker either missed the signage or ignored the danger. Bears, particularly those with no fear of humans, definitely deserve respect.
Finally, in the same neighborhood of northwest Wyoming, two hit and runs have been reported. Late this spring a grizzly bear was hit and killed in Yellowstone National Park. And just the other day the same thing happened again with a black bear in the park. Who hits a bear and drives away? It's not like hitting a squirrel or a skunk. Bears cause damage. Don't you want the police report to hand over for an insurance claim? You can't get your car fixed without one. And, you really can't explain a bear-produced dent as just another "Walmart grocery cart ding." Can you?
Whoa! That was close. I can't afford two bear crashes in one week.