P. Rancourt: Keep bears away from people

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Bear cubs are born in the winter during hibernation. As they emerge from the den in the spring, food is scarce. Food is of utmost importance to continue milk production.

Grass, insects, fawns, etc., are, as of now, enough to support bears until mid-July when berries ripen. If the bear referendum passes (Question 1), the bear population will climb by leaps and bounds, forcing bears to look for food closer to human habitation.

Thousands of homes have been built in carved-out areas in the thick Maine woods. The daily cooking from stoves and grills draws the now desperate sow to a small back yard. She moves slowly along the right side of the tree line. She communicates her location to her cubs by chattering her teeth. The cubs are now far left of the yard, just beyond the tree line and out of sight.

Suddenly, a six-year-old child enters the yard to play. Instinctively, the startled sow charges this potential threat to her cubs. With claws and jaws, she strikes once, twice, three times before the bears retreat back to the forest.

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Thanks completely to the A-1 Maine wildlife biologists, that story has yet to happen in Maine.

I will note “no” to keep it that way.

Paul Rancourt, Lewiston

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