On Wednesday, September 29th, on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville NC, a couple picnicking elected to violate park rules and allow their 70-lb. German Shepherd to go unleashed. Their dog charged a bear in its natural habitat and began barking and harassing the scared animal. “Likely aggravated by the dog, the bear acted defensively toward the dog and the couple,” park officials said in a news release. The dog was unharmed, and the couple thankfully only suffered minor injuries.
But according to NC Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) protocol, the bear — if captured and positively identified — is to be killed. This poor animal was attacked in its own safe haven, during the critical preparation months leading up to its long winter hibernation.
As the beings of higher intelligence, humans have every responsibility to protect the wildlife we share this world with — a leash could have stopped this tragedy. Additionally, Help Asheville Bears (HAB), a non-profit organization, has been denied twice by the NCWRC for a rehabilitation center and sanctuary for bears, which would provide a humane, happy solution for bears that are otherwise doomed to be euthanized. This would come at no cost to the state or its public. Sign the petition to help stop the senseless killing of this bear, and others like it in the future!