Thursday, July 29, 2010

My heart aches tonight.

I'm a hiker, a backpacker, a camper, and an outdoors-loving, tree-hugging gal. I've written how influential National Park family vacations can be. And I am fascinated, beyond words and explanation, with bears. Mostly the typical North American (east coast) black bear, but I really do think all bears are interesting.

So obviously, with that in consideration, this story broke my heart.

To make a long story short, a bear mauled three people, killing one, in a campground within Yellowstone National Park about two nights ago. The bear reportedly entered the campground and went on a rampage, entering tents and attacking sleeping campers. It's truly tragic, concerning, and sad in so many ways.

The alleged bear has been captured, and she has two cubs. If her DNA confirms she was the offending bear, she will be killed, and her two cubs' lives will then be in jeopardy due to their witnessing and potential learning of her predatory behavior.

My heart goes out to the families of the deceased, the victims, and the Yellowstone community.

And deep in my heart, I keep hearing an echo of, "Why did this bear do this?" Her behavior is simply not within the realm of "bear." Bears do not typically or really ever hunt humans in the night (though it supposedly has happened once before in the same campground in Yellowstone).

So sorry for the downer of a blog post, but I just had to write about this. As an outdoorsy girl, this story really resonated with me.

And DO NOT take this post as your ticket out of the wilderness-- this is as freak of an occurrence as a shark attack or a plane crash. Do not avoid the woods because of one random bear.

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