The other day, a bear was killed after it removed a blanket from a person sleeping outside of the Manna Soup Kitchen. After the bear was shot, according to news accounts, the man and his friend positively identified the bear. Can you find out for me just exactly how this is done? The Colorado Division of Wildlife might have some helpful tips on how to ID specific bears. (I prefer to be anonymous.) – P.
When it comes to identifying perpetrators, we should seek the advice of law enforcement rather than a wildlife agency.
The drill is simple, according to the Durango Police Department.
Get a general description of the offender. Note any distinguishing characteristics such as the color and length of hair and the type of clothing worn. Did the assailant have any peculiar mannerisms or behaviors?
In the case of the bear, we can say that the perpetrator was very hairy and unclothed and acted in a disorderly fashion.
That’s a good description, all right.
Unfortunately, it pretty much describes every person floating down the Animas River on a tube.
The whole thing about the two victims positively identifying the bear seems rather dubious.
What kind of profile can you get from an animal that wakes you up at 2:30 a.m., steals your blanket, bites your arm and runs off into the bushes?
Heck, just last week at the Action Line household, a bear decided to have a midnight snack on the bird feeder.
Mrs. Action Line woke up with a start. “What’s that? Something’s out back!”
There it was – a bear chowing on Southwest seed blend from For The Birds.
“You forgot to take the feeder down,” Mrs. Action Line said disappointedly.
Despite having a good look at the ursine interloper for at least 30 seconds with the porch light on, there’s no way Mrs. Action Line could positively identify the specific seed-snarfer in a police lineup.
Be that as it may, what betrayed the blanket-stealing bear at Manna Soup Kitchen wasn’t its looks. It was ID’d by muddy paw prints leading from the scene and dogs following the scent.
So let this be a lesson. Put the bird feeders away, burn off the barbecue grease and keep the trash locked in the garage. Don’t tempt the bears.
Also, please note that stealing blankets at 2:30 in the morning will not be tolerated.
Husbands beware: The next time you roll over in bed and take all the covers, your wife could call the DOW.
I was riding my bike on a bike trail, and right in the middle of the trail there were these people walking three and four abreast. Don’t those walkers know they can’t block traffic? How are bikes supposed to get around walkers when they are taking up the entire path? What can be done? – Don
The answer is clear. We should tax all walkers and require a license for traveling on foot.
After all, bike riders have generated significant amounts of sales-tax revenue from the purchase of special bikes, clothes, shoes, helmets and overpriced energy bars.
A portion of the sales tax funds open space and trails. Thus, it’s bike riders who pay for the trails.
Meanwhile, walkers haven’t spent diddly compared with cyclists. Maybe for a pair of shoes, but that’s pretty much it.
Walkers need to obey the rules of the trail and stop acting so arrogant and entitled.
Furthermore, each walker should have an identification plate, to be displayed at all times. This way, if a walker misbehaves, bikers can write down the number and report the offense to the police, preferably a cop on a bike.
From there, a system of expensive tickets and hefty fines should keep all those foot-travelers from walking in packs and getting in the way of bikes.
E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you show your Trails 2000 membership card.