Ojai mother bear defends cub(s)—human headline says: “Bear that attacked woman will be killed”

by Suza Francina on October 20, 2012

Sunday  Update: 

Good news  from Andrew Hughan, Fish & Game agency spokesman
ahughan@dfg.ca.gov
Sent: Sun, Oct 21, 2012 4:28 pm
Subject: Re: Ojai bear

DFG has found no further bear activity in Ojai, ceasing operations to find and trap the bear

See previous updates from Department of Fish & Game at end of article and in Comments

This was an an unfortunate incident not a tragedy. A trauma for all involved…hiker, bear and cub. This bear was in her own area, not the city or someone’s backyard. She didn’t kill anyone, just gave warning. Woman didn’t even seek medical attention. Why HUNT this bear and cub down!?! Why possibly traumatize her more and why oh why euthanize her and leave her cub motherless. It’s just nature…and all hikers should know that and be wary of wildlife, some of which is dangerous. –Teri Roth

If that momma bear was truly vicious, both the dogs and the woman would be dead. Instead she was given a push and a smack–a compassionate warning from a bear’s point of view. It was an act of mercy–and that mercy should be respected and returned by the humans.  –Sherri Skanes

From another Ojai resident: ” I just heard on KFI news that when the woman saw the bear, she played dead, curling up on the ground, the bear took a swipe at her – her dogs ran away….I’m not saying this is the true story, just adding a new layer….”

It’s almost impossible to know exactly what happened without speaking directly to the person involved. One news story says: “She said she was pushed down an embankment and followed by the bear. At the bottom, the woman curled into a ball and remained still. The bear sniffed her and then “moved off into the forest,” Hughan said in an emailed statement.”

So far the news stories are woefully inadequate (copy below). Here is link to one of the stories on this incident, a copy of my Letter to Fish & Game (emailed Friday night), and a copy of a more recent story saying bear will be killed.

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Woman-Attacked-By-Bear-Near-Ojai-California-Department-Fish-Game-175017031.html

Updated version: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/10/female-bear-attacks-woman-north-of-ojai-as-she-walks-her-dogs.html

Update, California Dept. of Fish & Game link: http://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/ojai-woman-sustains-minor-injuries-from-bear-attack/

Andrew Hughan, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8944

Dear Andrew Hughan,

Please let us know if the news story below stating that DFG plans to kill the Ojai bear, is accurate. If so, please reconsider the decision to kill this mother bear for defending her cub.

We need a full investigation of what triggered this “attack.” It was three years ago, October, 2009, that Fish & Game killed the young Ojai bear seen drinking out of a fountain. We are in a drought. Sources of water have dried up.

None of the news stories explain what the woman’s 3 dogs were doing or exactly what happened. The bear walked away. The woman did not even seek medical treatment. If this bear was dangerous she could have killed the woman.

The news report states the woman does not wish to be identified. Have you questioned her to find out how her dogs responded?

Please give us as much information on this incident as possible.

Suza Francina,
former mayor, City of Ojai
Ojai Wildlife League
Cell: (805) 603-8635
963 Oso Road
Ojai, CA 93023

Bear that attacked woman will be killed, officials say
October 19, 2012 | 7:42 pm

Game wardens with the California Department of Fish and Game will attempt to capture the bear that attacked a 50-year-old woman Friday morning in Ojai.
If they are successful, the bear will be euthanized.
“Public safety is our No. 1 priority,” said agency spokesman Andrew Hughan. “There is scientific evidence that when an animal attacks a person, there is a chance they will do it again.”
The attack occurred about 7 a.m. in an area adjacent to the Los Padres National Forest. The woman, who has asked to remain anonymous, was walking her three dogs when she surprised a black bear and a cub.
According to Hughan, it is the policy of the Department of Fish and Game to try to capture and euthanize a wild animal that has made an unprovoked attack on a human.
Hughan was unwilling to speculate whether game wardens would be successful in finding the bear, which was described as being cinnamon brown and weighing about 250 pounds. Hughan estimated the cub at 45 to 50 pounds.
The two bears ran across the road ahead of the woman, but the sow returned and swiped at the woman’s wrist, causing a one- to two-inch gash. The bear began to leave, then returned and charged the woman who had turned her back. The bear knocked her down, causing several six-inch abrasions which appeared to be claw marks.
In the attack the woman fell down an embankment. The bear followed her and sniffed at her as she lay motionless with her head tucked into her lap. She said she could feel the bear’s breath on her neck. The bear left after about 10 seconds, and the woman called law enforcement. She did not seek medical treatment.
There is no indication that the sow is the mother of the bear cub found abandoned last weekend Ojai and taken to a wildlife care center.
Since 1980, there have been about 15 confirmed bear attacks in California. The most recent was in the fall of 2010 at the Fallen Leaf Lake Campground near Lake Tahoe.

COPY OF SOME OF THE COMMENTS ON FACEBOOK AND FOLLOW UP LETTER :
Sent: Sat, Oct 20, 2012 5:57 am
Subject: Copy of response from Ojai residents: To Andrew Hughan from Suza Francina, Ojai Wildlife League:

Good morning Andrew,
Please scroll down for some of the comments in response to the possible killing of the Ojai bear.
Please call Tom Farmer at 320–1414.
He is most knowledgeable about bears and has offered to help DFG investigate.
Thank you, Suza Francina 603–8635

Mary Anne Burns Clearly a more thorough investigation is needed. What happened between the 3 dogs and the cub? If the mother had been intent on killing she could’ve easily done it. She might have just broken up a small skirmish among the smaller animals.

Joan Farber Please keep us posted

Akka B Poet This is outrageous! I’m in tears… This can’t happen again!!!

Thomas Farmer i would be willing to investigate this so called BEAR ATTACK. and work with the DFG and the Ojai Bear Coalition

Michael Osborne Who are we to guess? Mama Bear and Cubs. It ain’t rocket science. Throw dogs into the mix, it is a recipe for disaster. Humans too? There should be no execution without public review.

Eilam Byle this is crazy and so disturbing !!!!

Cathy Elliott Jones Of course I hate to be snarky, but: the woman “could feel the bear’s breath on her neck”? Sounds a wee bit Shades-of-Greyish to me.

Cathy Elliott Jones Thank you for this, Suza. I did not know we had a bear hunt ongoing again.

Cathy Elliott Jones Other cities and counties in California seem to have an entirely different approach to bears in the suburbs. Only here in “Hang ‘em High” County does there seem to be a policy of shoot first, and then shoot again.

Cathy Elliott Jones But … why does LA County make a celebrity out of a bear eating meatballs in the suburbs, and Ventura County advocates a kill-only policy?

Robin Hazel What an incredibly sad story! You are right, this bear could have easily killed the woman AND her dogs but she didn’t. The mother bear walked away as she was only interested in defending her baby. Thank you for writing the letter in hopes of saving her life. Let’s hope that the game warden never finds her and she lives a very long and happy life.

Sherri Skånes OMG…this is stupid. She had a CUB. Everyone knows you don’t go near a momma bear when she has a cub. It was an accident and a surprise on the edge of a NATIONAL FOREST. Leave the poor bears alone. This isn’t a nuisance case.

Candy Pope Many thanks Suza for writing this letter !!! I appreciate your persistence and patience with these folk.

Lizza Reed Unprovoked? Going near a mama bear and her cub is pretty darn “provoked” in my book!

Suza Francina (Tom) Thomas Farmer, Thank you for your offer. I emailed above letter to Andrew Hughan last night. Will try to make some calls today. I wish we could speak directly to the human involved in this incident to find out what really happened.

Juanita Potwin Go to  www.bear.org and learn about bears people, she was telling the women to leave and get away from her cub, and doesn’t sound to me like the women left right off, and whats up with them dogs? I wonder if she let them dogs go after her cub.

Liz Gladstone 3 dogs, one to two inch GASH, SEVERAL 6 inch abrasions, FELL down an embankment, DIDN’T seek medical help…….hmmm

 Jean-Marie Webster  From the news reports she swiped at her and the 3 DOGS that were after her and her cub..woman fell down small ravine and the mother bear came down and looked at her,,she then TURNED and LEFT..Hardly call that an attack..what were the dogs doing..did they go after the cub and mother..did the woman call them off? Once again a mother bear pays the price for the negligence of a person with dogs…the bear was not on the dog owners property ….she was in her forest..where else do we want to push them…I really doubt the dog owner would want her killed as most dog owners are compassionate…and clearly these were extenuating circumstances..besides what if they get the WRONG bear….Fish and Game Is a joke ..this bear did exactly what her instincts told her to do..if i were there with my child and 3 dogs came upon me I would charge them too!!”

Note: Many more comments on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/suza.francina

From Jim Logan “… Sorry about the woman, but the bear was just being a bear. And the line, “There is scientific evidence that when an animal attacks a person, there is a chance they will do it again” is ridiculous. Of course there’s a chance, just as there is that the animal will learn to play the piano.”

Updates: 

Someday lawmakers and the Department of Fish & Game will look back on this era with horror. There has to be a better way!

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Kill-Bear-Attack-Woman-California-Ojai-Department-Fish-Game-175084281.html

Good news! http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/10/fish-and-game-ends-search-for-bear-in-ojai.html?fb_action_ids=10151299105164703&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

 

Related Ojai Post story: http://www.ojaipost.com/2012/10/dept-of-fish-and-game-to-be-changed-to-fish-and-wildlife/

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Pamela Prince October 20, 2012 at 9:54 am

This cannot happen….This bear has cubs! We must not keep killing animals like this ! It is inhumane….
Ojai is the country and we must expect to encounter animals of all kinds! We all live here and know this!
Please listen to us this time!
Thank you

Pamela Prince
805 450-4209

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K Findley October 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Isn’t it bear season in CA? Why don’t hunters who have permits go up there and legally kill the bear? Win win situation if you ask me!

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Suza Francina October 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Message from Julia Di Sieno:

“. . . DFG policy is to euthanize any wild animal that inflicts injury to humans.
While this is beyond sad it’s safe policy! We have been reassured that only a trap is in place for the suspect bear! No wardens are in the field hunting her down. If the cubs are too young under 50lbs then DFG will bring them into rescue! Good luck down there!”

Julia Di Sieno
Sent from my I phone
http://Www.animalrescueteam.net

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Suza Francina October 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm

From Michele Shoemaker-Ball:
“Suza…. the dogs were on a leash…and ran as the attack occurred … she walks this trail, as I do every single morning and I know her well. Unfortunately the bear and her cubs traverse the lower portion of this widely used trail until sometimes 8 to 8:30 am. I’m sure the mother is tired of the constant traffic in her territory – but no one has provoked her. It’s highly unusual for the black bear to act so aggressively – she was very aggressive in this attack – and it’s important someone isn’t killed because unless she is captured, she will attack again. “

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Suza Francina October 20, 2012 at 1:08 pm

If it is known that a mother bear and cubs use this portion of the trail till 8:30 am —why not stay away from the area or walk that portion later? Sounds like the mother bear has tolerated the intrusion of humans on her turf for quite some time.

My other question is: Is there a source of water for these bears? The Aliso bear was killed by Fish& Game in October of 2009 (the bear that came to town looking for water)

In any case, I and many other members of the public want a full review of this bear encounter BEFORE even considering killing this bear.

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Lynn October 20, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Michele, Suza hit the nail on the head! Change your hiking routine! It is SO important to remember that this area, even though it is so close to town, IS in the GD NATIONAL FOREST! The forest IS bear habitat, and people are visitors!! Turn around your wording to say that “unfortunately humans traverse this trail as early as 8-8:30 am.” Makes much more sense than your way of thinking. People ARE provoking her, by intruding in her space, but it is HER space! Find someplace else to hike! Do not be so selfish as to sacrifice the life of a bear and her cub so you can walk in the brush!

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Suza Francina October 20, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Thank you, Lynn!

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Suza Francina October 20, 2012 at 12:53 pm

From Sherri Skånes:
” It’s extremely ignorant to say it is “people with guns” who want to shoot the bear. I have several and am a lifetime member of the NRA. I don’t want to shoot the bear. Nor do any others I know who are responsible gun owners. The bear was on her own turf, with a cub no less. I grew up in the forests of Oregon and we knew from a very young age you do NOT get between a bear and her cub. You even *think* you see them ahead on the trail, you leave in the opposite direction. Were the dogs leashed? I can’t think of another reason why this person didn’t leave immediately. If that momma bear was truly vicious, both the dogs and the woman would be dead. Instead she was given a push and a smack–a compassionate warning from a bear’s point of view. It was an act of mercy–and that mercy should be respected and returned by the humans.”

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Suza Francina October 20, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Reply to letter (posted above) from Fish & Game spokesperson Andrew Hughan:

Email: ahughan@dfg.ca.gov

“I do not want to get into a details discussion today. Here is an update.

We have a warden in Ojai with a trap set, we are NOT actively hunting the bear.
There are no wardens with guns, dogs are anything else up in the hills looking
for the bear. If she walks into the trap we will take appropriate action in
accordance with department policy. If different bear is trapped it will be
released. If the offending bear is gone and is never seen again it’s good for
everyone.

We are aware of the presence of the cub and will take the appropriate steps to
ensure the safety of the cub. If it’s healthy and fit it will be released back
into the wild and should be fine on its own. If it need attention or is too
small to survive then we’ll take the correct action.

The victim wants to remain anonymous, which is her right. The bear league can
use this as an education opportunity for residents with dogs. DFG is not going
to investigate the circumstances of the attack any further than we have. Our
concern is for the safety of the public and the bear.

Marty Wall is on vacation for some time.

I have received all you’re previous e-mail and I have spoken to Tom [Farmer] this morning.

—Andrew Hughan

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Suza Francina October 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Someday, even the Department of Fish & Game will wonder, with all the bear experts we have today, why we did not apply our collective intelligence to solving human/bear encounters without killing the bear. There has to be a better way!

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Kill-Bear-Attack-Woman-California-Ojai-Department-Fish-Game-175084281.html

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Suza Francina October 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Someday this antiquated policy will change: “Our policy is when the evidence shows an unprovoked attack, that animal shall be humanely euthanized. There’s no leeway in the policy,” Hughan said.

From a human viewpoint this was an “unprovoked attack.” Obviously from the bear’s viewpoint the human provoked the attack!

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Debbie brandstrom October 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm

How do you know her story was right. She could have been trying to get close to the baby. The bears around her are not that that aggressive and the likely hood of that bear making a turn around and coming back is probably false. She would run away not come back unless the lady was threatening it or the dogs! Don’t kill this bear and how would you know if you have the same bears. They pretty much look the same. Think about it before you kill this or another animals.
Thank you

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linalee October 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm

This policy needs to change. The bear should not be killed. The bear was just being a mom and she wad in the wild. The hiker should’ve been more cautious. Next thing you know, we are going to do is go where there’s wolves and when we Getty attacked we are going to kill then as well. This us horrible.

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charlie October 20, 2012 at 8:18 pm

This makes me sad.

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Suza Francina October 20, 2012 at 8:59 pm

From Julia Jakob Di Sieno:

“Suza, I know how difficult this is to the Ojai community. My heart aches for every bear that died outside of mother nature. I do know that the trap is being checked. There is a good chance that momma bear has left the area. She too felt the fear from the dogs, and the lone lady who stepped into the bears world. I trust these wardens. We NO longer have the mean Warden working for the State…The trap will NOT hurt the bear, or any animal that may be trapped. You have my word. DFG recently spared 2 bears their lives… SO lets give DFG a chance with this situation too. It is time to amend the state bear policy… So this is where all energy needs to be directed.”

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Suza Francina October 20, 2012 at 9:21 pm

From Karen Nunez: ” The dogs were behind the hiker and two ran off immediately. The third barked a few times as the bear started to attack then ran off as well. Don’t assume the dogs played a role in this. The bears are always crossing the trail to get to water and to the avocado’s which makes the interaction between wild animals and humans even more likely. The more people invade the animals home territory the more this will continue. Sad, no matter how you look at it. I blame neither the hiker nor the bear.”

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emerald October 21, 2012 at 4:43 am

‘The greatness of a nation and its’ moral progress can be judged by the way its’ animals are treated.’-Once again I have to ask why in Ventura County the bears have to be killed by ‘heroic’ Fish and Game when here in LA County with 8 million people the bears are not killed. I would think in Ojai where life is sacred you would stand up and yell and scream at the killing of any life in your own back yard. Don’t be passive on this issue-FIGHT for God’s sake and an innocent animal!

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Kenyon Ledford October 21, 2012 at 5:47 am

So many of these people commenting sound a bit ignorant. These people seem to think the woman saw a bear and a cub and decided to investigate. I don’t think that is the case. It was dark, I believe, and the woman was as surprised as the bears. And you people huffing and puffing about how the woman should not have been in the bear’s territory are fools if you believe that, and hypocrites if you ever step foot into a national forest.

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Kenyon Ledford October 21, 2012 at 5:54 am

I would add to my remarks that most people, if they were in the same situation, would not have managed to keep their heads. In that case, we would be talking about a dead person today, and in your cases, heaping abuse onto their corpse before it could even be buried.

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Suza Francina October 21, 2012 at 8:28 am

From Sue Williams (Ojai Wildlife League) who is in Spain at the moment:

Just a suggestion that there should be a warning/info leaflet on the trail where
this occurred telling people what to do if they see a bear in “their territory”
ie. turn around submissively and walk slowly away with respect and get any dogs
under control ASAP and get them out of there with you. Perhaps F&G has already
done this.
Thanks for keeping me posted,
Sue

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Suza Francina October 21, 2012 at 8:30 am

From Faryn Kapala:
“This area has ALOT of growing up to do and dealing with neighboring wildlife is just the beginning. So very tragic that humans so often think they need to be in “control” of this kind of thing…”

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Suza Francina October 21, 2012 at 8:41 am

Below is one of the most important comments as to why it is uncalled for to kill this bear –the problem is the policy that makes no exceptions for cases like this:

(The comment at the end is in response to this earlier one, also posted above:)

“Michele, Suza hit the nail on the head! Change your hiking routine! It is SO important to remember that this area, even though it is so close to town, IS in the GD NATIONAL FOREST! The forest IS bear habitat, and people are visitors!! Turn around your wording to say that “unfortunately humans traverse this trail as early as 8-8:30 am.” Makes much more sense than your way of thinking. People ARE provoking her, by intruding in her space, but it is HER space! Find someplace else to hike! Do not be so selfish as to sacrifice the life of a bear and her cub so you can walk in the brush!”

Vickie Pickett agrees, she says: “No, she[the bear] was not ‘ VERY AGGRESSIVE ‘. If she was ‘ VERY AGGRESSIVE ‘ the woman would have been ripped to shreds and they’d have carried her out in garbage bags. A few scratches is MINIMAL AGGRESSION when a bear is involved.

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Dick Albright October 21, 2012 at 9:09 am

Another bear story. I wish I could share once again…that recent picture of the bear in my Seymour Canyon barnyard in Lockwood Valley…and the damage. The bears belong in ‘your’ Sespe Wilderness that was burned (from whence they came looking for food and water in 2006), not your Ojai or other local neighborhoods. Never saw one in my 42 years over here (just lucky I geuess) until after the Day Fire that burned up to and thru the valley. There are more dangerous “creatures” roving & ruling in the Ojai, Rose, Ozena, Lockwood and Hungry Valleys than lions and bears. They all should be ‘relocated’.

V/R
Dick

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Suza Francina October 21, 2012 at 10:49 am

Thanks, Dick, for sharing this —hope you’ll chime in more about bears. We all have a lot of learning to do!

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Lynn October 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Was pulling out of Vons parking lot about an hour ago and saw a white pickup truck with a camo-painted “quad” in the back of the truck, truck was pulling trailer with bear trap. It was headed up the Maricopa past Nordhoff. I did not notice any Fish/Game nor USFS logo on the door. It was a rather unofficial looking vehicle.

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Suza Francina October 21, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Thanks, Lynn, for letting us know what you saw. Let’s hope that trap is headed out of Ojai!

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Vickie October 21, 2012 at 3:49 pm

I’m saddened by this news and am also sadly not surprised : I have hiked the trails close to downtown Ojai and also in the back-country for more than 35 years : I have recently seen coyotes and raccoons roaming through the streets downtown in the early mornings and the early evenings and am sure they are also roaming there throughout the night : because they are THIRSTY ! I have not taken my dog out on the trails for several months (since June) because of the extreme DROUGHT > please keep in mind that we have had less than 50% of normal rainfall during the past 12 months ! the wild animals are hungry and thirsty : give them some SPACE and pray for rain !

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Suza Francina October 28, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Thank you for this reminder Vickie.

Yesterday, one of my neighbors showed me bear tracks near a trail I walk in the river bottom. Very close to human homes. She said she also saw piles of oranges thrown up –in the nearby orchards. I am wondering if the bears are trying to quench their thirst by eating oranges. . . . all the creek beds have been dry for months. . . .

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Suza Francina October 21, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Good news via email from Andrew Hughan–
ahughan@dfg.ca.gov
Sent: Sun, Oct 21, 2012 4:28 pm
Subject: Re: Ojai bear

DFG has found no further bear activity in Ojai, ceasing operations to find and trap the bear

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Suza Francina October 21, 2012 at 5:24 pm

I promised Andrew Hughan (Fish & Game spokesperson) that we would use this as an opportunity to further educate the public.

He wrote back and said, “Please do, after all it’s not a bear problem, it’s a people problem.”

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Millennium Twain October 21, 2012 at 5:11 pm

what we need is “no further mobster Fish & Game Dept” activity in the Valley …

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Suza Francina October 22, 2012 at 5:21 am

Millennium, what also needs to change is the policies –DFG employees are following orders. Thankfully, there are much better people working for DFG than three years ago. Various wildlife organizations, including our local group (Ojai Wildlife League) are working to change things at the state level. Here is one piece of progress:

“California’s wildlife now has a protector whose name matches its mission. In the flurry of end-of-session legislation, a new law renamed the agency charged with stewardship of the state’s wild creatures and wild lands. Welcome (as of January) the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.”

(Full story to follow on the Ojai Post)

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Vickie October 21, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Ojai Post moderators,
I posted my comment (above) more than 8 hours ago and it’s still “awaiting moderation” : I’m not an author here which might be why my comment has not been posted yet : I realize and appreciate that this site is maintained by volunteers but delaying the posting of comments diminishes its relevance and discourages people from participating in the community discussion

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Suza Francina October 26, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Vickie, not sure why the delay. Once you have posted a comment here (and the administrator has checked that you are a real person) Comments should appear immediately.

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Vickie October 21, 2012 at 8:58 pm

ps to Ojai Post moderators,
I just realized that I posted my first comment 5 hours ago, not 8 hours ago, but it still seems odd that it’s “awaiting moderation” because this is such a newsworthy topic : it’s great that Suza is able to post her comments immediately as she is keeping us updated with news releases and other current info from CA Department of Fish and Game

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Eric Mills October 22, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Relatedly, the DFG ordered a mother mountain lion and her three 18-month-old cubs destroyed last month in El Dorado County, in an unincorporated area called “Rescue”(!). (See GOOGLE.) Their crime? The mother was suspected of having jumped a four-foot fence and killing a tethered goat to feed her young. Four mountain lions = one goat? NOT ACCEPTABLE! And the rancher should have been cited for failing to provide safety for his animals at night. One could almost call it “baiting.”

The Department of Fish & Game needs to change its ATTITUDES, and not just its name.

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Suza Francina October 26, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Eric Mills, I completely agree with you that this killing of our wildlife has got to stop! I share your grief and outrage over this incident — as do many others. It is also likely that once again DFG will point to the policy that mandates this cruel action—but to my way of thinking there is room for how these policies are interpreted. And any policy that leaves no room for considering the circumstances of our wildlife needs to be changed.

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Michele October 23, 2012 at 7:43 am

Hoping this is dying down … I think the victim was traumatized enough – she doesn’t need to be lambasted by the Ojai usuals on internet blogs…. and the Forest Service – Fish and Game are all doing their jobs as they should be.
I want to thank both, including the county parks dept. for following up in a timely manner -

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Suza Francina October 26, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Michele, this is an opportunity to educate the public. I had a productive and educational conversation with the woman involved in this bear encounter. No one that I know of has lambasted her. It was not the internet blogs that sensationalized this encounter — it was the reports on TV and Southern California newspapers. Some people (including myself) understandably reacted to the headlines and reports that the bear would be killed if found. This whole situation could have had a different ending for both human and bear. It is very important that the story of what actually happened be told accurately. We also need to work to change a wildlife policy that results in the killing of animals that are doing what comes natural them on their own turf. The woman who encountered the bear is just as relieved as the rest of us that the mother bear was not killed.

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Rich October 23, 2012 at 8:25 am

What trail was she on? I have spent a lot of time backpacking in bear country and a ton of time in the Sespe. There are a bunch of misinformed opinions going on here. There are proven steps to take when in our shared forests to avoid issues with Bears. Check the backpacker magazine website for multipal articals and forums. I live on the edge of the Sespe wilderness in the unincorperated Ojai. I have to tell you bears are the least of our worries out here. I will let you who actually spend time out here fill in that blank as we all have our pet peeves regarding the weekend crowds or the disrespectful litterbugs or the drug users. Keep the forest free and treat it well. It will return the favor.

Cheers

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Suza Francina October 26, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Gridley trail, in Ojai, near avocado orchards.

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Suza Francina October 24, 2012 at 9:58 am

Ojai Valley News Story: http://ovnblog.com/?p=6987&cpage=1#comment-84835

(There is a great picture of the rescued 10 pound orphan cub –unrelated to this incident–in the Ojai Valley News today)

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terri jo kumar October 29, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Afetr hearing of this Bear and human encounter I at first was reflecting back to my life spent in The wild of Ojai, only to come to the present of living in the wilds of The Sequoias. we should all be thankfully aware of the wildlife in our mist, thankful that it is alive, aware that it is we whom are sharing their habitats. Almost 20 bears have been killed this year alone by automobiles, we need not kill more just because they were on their own lands ( in the Sequoia forrest). Please remind all that we are all visitors…

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