Last month, an African lion known as Cecil was lured out of a protected area and killed by a high-paying sport-hunter, igniting unprecedented worldwide outrage over the killing of a free-living animal. Earlier this month, a grizzly bear known as Blaze (after a light-colored marking on her flank) was killed inside Yellowstone Park. The reasons differ; Blaze killed a hiker. At the time, Blaze had cubs with her. Park authorities killed Blaze. Her cubs will go to a zoo. You can see photos of Blaze with an earlier cub here. Here are my thoughts:
No serious person trivializes the tragic loss of the hiker. Killing the bear, though, could not bring the hiker back. Nor does killing Blaze ensure safety for hikers; there are other bears with cubs in Yellowstone. The Park administrators must have had liability on their minds; if the same bear hurt someone else: lawsuit. But we can have safe hiking and we can keep bears safe: where bears live, the Park Service should require hikers to carry bear spray.