Yellowstone National Park was established by the Federal Government in 1872. For millions of people, it has been a place where man and beast can rejoice in the wonders of nature. On the surface, it seems like a great outdoors place where people can relax and have a good time. Underneath all the apparent tranquility, there is a dark side of the park.
The sinister side of Yellowstone Park is reflected in the way a certain part of its wildlife management is conducted. There’s a program of “euthanasia” where certain animals are being deliberately put down. The grizzly bears of Yellowstone Park are living under a shadow of death. These beasts are best left alone; they are aggressive by nature and under certain conditions, they have fatally attacked people in the park. When such attacks happen, the bears are treated like “serial killers” and euthanized by park officials. These bears are not criminals, and they should never be treated like criminals. Grizzly bears know nothing about man-made laws.
Recently, the body of Lance Crosby, an employee of Yellowstone Park was found, and it was presumed that a mother grizzly bear with cubs had killed him. Immediately, park authorities set out to trap the animal that was suspected of the killing. The mother grizzly was caught and “euthanized”, leaving behind her two tiny cubs that were too little to fend for themselves.
For a long time, Yellowstone Park officials have been acting as judge and jury for executing wayward grizzly bears, and they’ve never given the bears a fair shake. The mother grizzly could have been trapped with her cubs and released later in a suitable habitat in a remote area away from people; she could have been saved, but park officials only wanted to kill her.
The mother grizzly was condemned to die right from the start. Her two cubs were supposed to be sent to the Toledo, Ohio Zoo where they would be imprisoned for the rest of their lives. It is a sad story, and it is all because of bad judgements on the part of park officials. Euthanizing healthy animals is as bad as murder in the world of animals.
Why didn’t someone make plans for the mother grizzly to be sent to the Toledo, Ohio Zoo with her cubs? If the “kill lust” wasn’t so deeply embedded in Yellowstone Park Officials, why wouldn’t they want to keep the mother bear with her cubs. Surely no one would have been in any danger from the mother grizzly at the zoo. She would have been behind bars, but at least she would have been alive and with her cubs.
The officials at the park wanted to carry out their “eye for an eye” brand of justice by euthanizing the bear. They were treating the bear like it was some kind of criminal and there was no plan to relocate it or to rehabilitate it.
The excuse that park officials use to justify their unwarrantable killings is that they believe the targeted animals may kill humans again. This is not excuse enough, considering that once the animals are trapped, they can be relocated anywhere. The solution to the euthanasia problem is to have a fenced-in preserve (not a zoo of any kind) where wayward grizzlies can be resettled away from the park and people. It is a practical down-to-earth plan that would forever end the cruel and unjustifiable killing of grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park.
Park officials are taking perfectly healthy animals and deliberately killing them. The public should demand that this morbid euthanasia program be forever outlawed. It is past due time for Yellowstone National Park to stop its “kill operations” with grizzly bears.
Instead of logically working out the problems that exist between grizzly bears and people, park officials blindly follow a strict protocol of exterminating all bears that are involved in fatal attacks on humans. Park officials are following an unjust policy of forcing their own retributory judgement against the bears.
Before people can understand any kind of justice for wild animals, they have to look at it from the animal’s perspective. If a mother grizzly bear believes that her cubs are threatened by people, she is going to attack. If a person is killed in the process, the bear is not guilty of any crime and should not be killed. Animals do not know anything about man-made laws.
After the tragic results of park officials killing the mother grizzly and making orphans out of her cubs, it is a wake-up call for us all. It is cause for wonder how supposedly civilized people can treat innocent animals so cruelly and mercilessly. When dealing with wild animals, people should always remember to respect the laws of nature.
The killing of grizzly bears should be outlawed at Yellowstone National Park. No matter what crimes park officials say the bears commit, these animals should not be treated like criminals. There is certainly a better way of dealing with these bears than putting them to death with a needle full of poison.
The solution to the euthanasia program is to have a fenced-in preserve (not a zoo of any kind) where wayward grizzlies can be resettled away from the park and people. It is a practical down-to-earth method that would forever end the cruel and unjustifiable killing of grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park..
--Marlin O. Wallace