Letter to the editor

On Wednesday, November, 10, 2010 Some Santa Maria residents had a surprise visitor.
A bear was spotted wandering through various streets around 8:00 p.m., and was eventually cornered on the 800 block of Cypress Street.
Shortly after 11:00 p.m. Wednesday night, two State Department of Fish and Game wardens, Jaime Dostel, and Jorge Paz successfully tranquilized the 150-pound bear in a backyard. The bear was carefully placed onto a tarp, eyes covered, then ear tagged with a new State Department of DFG bear tagging system. The white tags in each ear read: Please call DFG regarding the tagged animal. State Policy in the past was to humanely euthanize any wandering or displaced bears, that are tranquilized during bear hunting season. After tagging was complete both wardens set out to locate a suitable location where there’s suitable bear habitat, and released.
Bear hunting season opens the day of deer season, and ends either December 27th, or once 1,700 bears have been tagged/shot by hunters.

Black bears are shy and normally avoid people. Human attacks are rare. Still one should not get too close or EVER feed them. They may become protective if cubs are present and may bluff intruders with fake charges.
When hiking it is a good idea to “announce” your presence by making noise. If you encounter a standing black bear, it is not threatening you. It is trying to get more information about you and your intentions.
The best defense is to back out of the area slowly. In parks such as Yosemite National Park in California, black bears are accustomed to people because they view them as a source of food handouts.

We at Animal Rescue Team, Inc. In Santa Ynez are thrilled with the expertise, patience, care and professionalism local wardens Jorge Paz, and Jaime Dostel, as well as Law Enforcement first responders displayed during the Santa Maria bear incident.
In recent months, State wardens, have used excellent judgment using none lethal force in several cases involving displaced mountain lions.
One cat was actually tranquilized by a State DFG biologist, in September in the town
of Devore (San Bernardino County) neighborhood. The cat was spotted lounging in a tree, and reportedly tranquilized and released back into the foothills. Although rare, these situations typically end with the lion being killed.

Also in October this year, police were called to a neighborhood in Pleasant Hill (California) after a mountain lion was spotted in the area. Local residents did not want to see the lion killed; many were still outraged from a shooting six weeks prior of a mountain lion in Berkeley (about 20 miles west of Pleasant Hill). Wanting to find a way to “shoo” the cat back into the wild, the local Police along with Contra Costa County Animal Control and California Department of Fish and Game officers banned together and created a picket line to deter the lion away from the residential area. Although curious at times, mountain lions generally prefer to avoid people and will walk back into the wild if given time and the space to do so. In this case, it definitely worked. The lion left the area and was later seen away from town, likely heading towards the deer-filled hills of Briones Regional Park.

Thank you Jaime and Jorge,

Thank you,

Julia J. Di Sieno
Executive Director
Animal Rescue Team, inc.
875 Carraige Drive
Solvang, CA. 93463
805 896-1859

Take nothing but photographs. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time.

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