February 15, 2008

Big Lazy Eating Machines

According to Kentucky Wildlife Biologist Steve Beam, black bears were once at risk in the state because of poaching and the timbering of forests. Now they're making a comeback.

While we didn't see any bears during the Becoming an Outdoors Woman event at Pine Mountain in November, I did get this photographic evidence of their passing. (I also learned the answer to that age-old question about what bears do or do not do in the woods.)

Beam told us that a bear is "a big lazy eating machine." Bears like eating garbage (it's both handy and tasty), which resulted in more than a hundred phone calls from people in the eastern part of his county. Folks were livid because they'd put their garbage cans outside for pickup, and the bears would get to them -- and strew garbage everywhere -- before the trucks arrived.

"You're going to have human-bear conflict," said Beam. And also human-elk conflict, human-coyote conflict, human-skunk conflict...

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