Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Please don’t shoot the bear, officer!

Yesterday (as I write it’s 2 pm), we were walking the dog in the nearest larger town in the area – Auburn, CA – when we came upon a crowd and several police vehicles. Something was afoot, and it was right in front of the high school. You can imagine what we thought. Active shooter? It can happen anywhere these days.

But then we noticed there was also a fire truck, and it was shooting water up into one of the cypress trees that surround the school. Was the tree on fire? We’re all a little queasy about fire around here.

We approached the crowd, but someone said we should stop because there was a bear in that tree, and they were trying to get it to come down with the fire hose. The police didn’t know what it would do when it touched ground. Attack the nearest thing that seemed responsible for the hosing? I know I would.

We wanted to see how this played out, but then I realized we were likely to witness the assassination of an innocent bear pretty soon. We decided to skedaddle.

I looked up the story when we got home and learned that the water hadn’t worked. The bear was unmotivated. Instead, the cops shot a couple of bean bags up there, and that prompted the bear to jump down and run across the street to another tree in front of somebody’s house. Thankfully, the students who had been sheltering in place were now free to leave campus for lunch. (Taco Tree, most likely.)

I just know that bear’s a goner, though authorities “hope it will leave on its own.” I’ll keep an eye on the story and post an update when I hear more. One lady at the site said to me, “Placer County shoots anything that moves,” so … 

UPDATE: According to the Auburn police department, “The bear was relocated off campus and was not harmed.”

Happy ending? I’m not entirely convinced …

[Image via.]


8 comments on “Please don’t shoot the bear, officer!

  1. Audrey Driscoll
    October 19, 2017

    I hate stuff like this. In fact, as soon as I hear the words “conservation officer” and either “bear” or “cougar” I turn off the radio/leave the room/plug my ears. And like you, I conclude there’s one fewer critter in the world. (And too many Homo sapiens — there’s a misnomer!)

    • Kevin Brennan
      October 19, 2017

      I’m not sure what conservation officers are conserving if they wind up shooting the animals they come into contact with!

      • Audrey Driscoll
        October 19, 2017

        It does seem to be a misnomer in many cases. I’ve taken to calling them Animal Execution Officers (and no due process, either). I recognize that they go through some sort of assessment of the situation, and sometimes try to tranquilize and relocate the animal, but it seems if the bear is considered an immediate safety threat, it doesn’t get a second chance. The worst part is the bear ends up in the situation due to someone being careless with garbage, barbecue or unpicked fruit lying around.

  2. John W. Howell
    October 19, 2017

    Hope to hear good news but like you, I’m skeptical.

  3. Terri Webster Schrandt
    October 20, 2017

    I hope the bear was not harmed, where else can our critters go these days now that we’ve encroached into their backyards?

    • Kevin Brennan
      October 21, 2017

      The last word was they left the bear alone till dark, and he must have gone home. I hope that’s the truth!

      Good point about their habitat. They used to have free rein in these parts.

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This entry was posted on October 19, 2017 by in Et alia and tagged .
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