So, if you’ve been keeping up on the trending news lately, this rant should come as no surprise.
In case you missed it though, here’s the gist: a woman accompanied by her dogs went walking in the forest by her home in Colorado. She didn’t return home and hours later, her boyfriend found her dead in the woods. Colorado Parks and Wildlife Service (CPW) showed up, determined that a bear had killed her and immediately started a search for the offending animal(s). They found the nearest bears – a mother and her yearling cubs, and killed them on the spot. Now at the time, they had no idea if these were THE bears or even whether or not the woman had actually died from an animal attack.
And here’s the rant: why do people assume we should just inherently have control over everything? Why is it that when people venture into the habitats of animals, we think we should have absolute control over that habitat and every living creature in it? And if for some reason, a wild animal says hey, fuck you… we respond by killing it. This woman was not in her home. She was in a forest in an area of Colorado that is no stranger to bears. Bears live in the forest. I thought everyone knew this.
When CPW killed the mother bear and her cubs, officials hadn’t even determined the cause of the woman’s death. As far as I know, those results are still pending. Maybe she died of a heart attack, and the wounds occurred postmortem. Maybe it was a bear attack, but not these bears. In either case, it’s possible that these three bears were simply opportunistic rather than killers. I mean, black bear attacks are exceedingly rare, and it’s not like humans are their natural prey. In fact, black bear attacks are so rare that this woman’s death is the fourth fatal mauling in the state of Colorado since record-keeping began in 1960.
For argument’s sake though, let’s just say it was a bear attack and it just so happened that these three bears were the culprits. The woman was in the woods… where bears live. Maybe she came across the yearling cubs and the mother bear attacked. Maybe the woman’s dogs went after the bears and the woman paid the price. Regardless of the scenario, the woman was in the woods… where bears live.
As much as I feel for the woman, her boyfriend, and her family, it boggles my mind that humans have the audacity to hunt down and kill something that was, until a human entered its habitat, minding its own damn business.
We will never know what truly happened out in the woods that day, and I am sincerely sorry for the death of this woman no matter the circumstances. But I hope it can be a reminder to others that the forest is the realm of wild animals. They live there. Remember to respect that. The world is full enough of tragic stories.