In case you missed last night's television broadcast, here is the online story and video about the Nature Center bear and the trail closure along with my images. Since the information they were relaying came from me (indirectly), I thought I should point out a few inconsistencies. This past Saturday evening, I spoke with the area biologist and the ranger who subsequently closed the trail after I witnessed the bear’s behavior becoming increasingly aggressive and intolerant of humans. First, I never once said that it “slapped the viewing deck.” I have no idea where that statement came from but it certainly wasn’t from me. Second, the bear that our neighbor Richard was speaking of during the segment was NOT the same bear that I have been photographing around the viewing decks. That was a larger, lighter colored bear that was in the area earlier this summer and most certainly not the bear that caused the trail closure. Finally, the photos I submitted were taken when the bear was fishing, before any of the aggressive behavior and bluff charges took place. In other words, when the newscaster said that the photos I took were showing what I believed to be the bear’s aggressive behavior, that statement didn’t originate from me either.
For the record, I made the call to report the bear’s behavior and bluff charges, which I believed was of concern, before it escalated into a full-blown charge or a mauling. The headline “Bear Charges Visitors…” might be a bit over-hyped. Ironically, when the news team called to inquire if I had any photos that I could submit, they never asked for my account of what happened, even though I am the one who witnessed the incidents first-hand and made the report to the Fish & Game biologist, nor did they contact the Nature Center for any information on the story. Aside from all of this, I was happy to contribute my photos for the segment and I hope that people will respect the trail closure and ultimately the bear itself, which is only trying to pack on weight for the long winter slumber. Click on the image to link to the story: