In response to our story about the poor black bear that has been limping around the city of Savage since a police officer opened fire on it more than a week ago, many readers have wondered why the DNR would recommend the bear be shot and possibly killed rather than tranquilized and moved to another location.
Turns out there's a whole bunch of reasons why. Are they good ones? Judge for yourself.
Here's how a DNR official responded to an email asking why tranquilization isn't the preferred option:
Tranquilizing is a method with a lot of down sides.Indeed, Minnesota's bear population is stable enough for the DNR to allow some lottery-based bear hunting each year (2,500 to 3,000 animals are killed annually), with some of the resulting bear meat being processed by local companies.
To keep people safe, the DNR does not typically tranquilize nuisance animals.
The meat from a tranquilized bear is NOT consumable so it cannot be donated to the needy. Also, releasing a bear that has been tranquilized could result in human consumption at a later date.
Approximately 50-60 percent of tranquilized bears die from stress.
Bears that are tranquilized and moved may return and cause further problems.
There's the risk the bear will be friendly to people thus moving the safety concern to another location. Also, if a tranquilized bear climbs a tree it could fall, causing injury or death to the animal or anyone nearby.
Transporting the animal to another location can also create problems for the driver of the transporting vehicle. If the bear tries to escape the cage the constant shifting of weight can cause the driver to possibly lose control of the vehicle.
The state's bear population remains between 20,000 and 30,000, and is considered stable.
So, if you're reading this, be wary, Savage black bear. The next human you see could very well be your last.