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Bear extermination not the answer

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The Oct. 26 Journal article, “Bears roam around Loomis,” presented two particular points of interest. The first was the actual photographs of the mother bear and her cubs. The second, however, was the statement by the Fish and Game spokesman Andrew Hughan that “those bears are going to be trapped and killed.” Unbelievable! The very idea that these magnificent creatures would be hunted down and exterminated, absent any alternative, for merely consuming three chickens, is simply wrong. Would Fish and Game take the same approach had the perpetrator been a skunk or a raccoon? While there is no doubt that bears can be destructive, and that a mother with cubs is to be treated with particular caution, these animals do live among us and will occasionally stray from the wilder and more protected areas of their habitat. Yet when they do, the more rational approach is for people to better secure or even temporarily remove the potential source of attraction, be it chickens, garbage cans, or anything else. Contrary to the Fish and Game’s single-minded solution, the answer to a bear’s limited and occasionally destructive intrusion is not a death sentence. Though the capture and relocation of animals which have destroyed property is said to be ineffective, such a course of action would seem to provide at least some temporary relief, and provide homeowners the opportunity to better secure their property and pets against any future attacks and intrusions. Should these efforts fail, a more serious remedy might be considered. In the Sierra foothills, the diversity of wildlife is a fact of life. Though wild birds and animals occasionally challenge our peace and tranquility, their presence among us certainly adds a richness and enjoyment to our quality of life. Absent compelling circumstances, exterminating our wild animals is not the answer. TOM BEATTIE, Auburn