I just can’t help rooting for the bears of Aspen. Much as I would hate to be that Aspen guy, in his own house last night, only to discover an angry bear ready to tousle me. Or author Susan Orlean, coming home to my vacation cabin, only to find bears had rummaged through my fridge, and consumed the OJ. Or any one of the couple of dozen people who have met up with bears over this summer. My gosh, would I be upset. Still, the guys with guns are winning, and you know, the bears were there first.
In Aspen last night, the guy heard his dogs going crazy and he attempted to round them up. He was upstairs when the bear came on up and attacked him. After he was injured, he got back downstairs, got a window open, and the bear went out. He was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries, the Aspen Times reports. But the bear has a death sentence.
Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton said a trap has been set and seven DOW officers were on scene. Authorities were patrolling the neighborhood.
“Obviously if we find the bear, we’ll put him down,” Hampton said.
I like to think that this year the bears had a conference, and they decided to get out there and be proactive. Well, it’s probably not gonna work, guys. But they must have seen other options failing. Friendliness didn’t work in Montana. In August, wildlife officials shot and killed a 17-year-old female grizzly guilty of being “disturbingly friendly” to campers. One of her cubs bled to death from the tranquilizing dart. The other cub went to the Bronx zoo. So why not bring it in Colorado, they might have reasoned. But the score isn’t pretty so far. At least 25 bears have been killed by wildlife officials, as InvestigateWest reported recently.
And then, well, you know, the bears must have seen what was going down with the wolves. They had it good for a while in Idaho and Montana. But that’s over now. Sure, they’re turning out to be a little hard to bag, the New York Times reports today. But just wait until it snows, those wolves will stand out like anything. Shoot, Sarah Palin will probably get herself a tag and be down, now that the judge has ruled against the environmentalists, and allowed the hunts to go on. Wyoming wolves, they’re still safe for now. But you guys, don’t you take it for granted over there. I’m warning you. Talk to the bears.
— Rita Hibbard