Of course, it drives some people crazy when wild animals are treated as individuals. For folks like them, it somehow makes sense to both grieve the death of a hunting dog and also kill other animals. And so we get columns like Sam Cook's in today's Duluth newspaper.
"The adult bear seems uninterested in raising the cub, which could reduce its chances of survival. But they are, after all, wild animals, and they should be allowed to live as wild animals."
Except, of course, when we want to kill them.
"It’s a debatable practice, this matter of naming wild critters and using them to promote a nonprofit organization. So, for that matter, is feeding them and following them around the woods, which Rogers does under permit from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
"When does a bear become less a subject of research than a creature exploited for its marketability?
"When is a wild animal no longer truly wild?"
Perhaps wild animals are no longer truly wild when the claim is made that the state owns them and has the right to regulate their murder. It's hard to imagine a greater degree of exploitation than that. As researcher Lynn Rogers writes in one of his updates on the bears, it's surprising how many people think it's OK to kill a bear, but not to help one live.
You can follow updates on the bears here.