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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

South Dakota: Bear Crossing!

A black bear visited Milbank, South Dakota, a couple weeks ago. I think it was originally bearing for Brookings to give Pat Powers something to worry about besides mountain lions. Fortunately for PP and all tasty bloggers to the south, said bear headed back to North Dakota, where it met an untimely demise at a farm near Fairmount.

Memo to bears and drunks alike: keep your paws off people's houses, and don't look in the windows.

South Dakota State Wildlife director Tony Leif assures us the bear visit was "probably unique" since there's no habitat suitable for bear (or anyone else?) in North Dakota.

But if it wasn't, remember: if you meet a bear, be respectful. Stand tall, wave your arms, and talk to the bear, preferably in a loud, low voice (if possible, play Isaac Hayes).

Of course, maybe the bears are coming to South Dakota to help keep down our moose population, and that could be a good thing. Moose can be just as dangerous as bears. (Moose will trample you—ouch!) Over a 29-year period in British Columbia, bear and moose each killed 19 people. During that same period, mountain lions killed only five people... and horses killed 47.

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