Archive for August 13th, 2008

If you go down to the woods today…….

August 13, 2008

Is it just my imagination or is it getting more dangerous out in the woods – or even in the suburbs?

By dangerous I mean more attacks by big fanged animals that are normally supposed to run away and hide when they see homo superior come swaggering into the neighbourhood.

Here are a few of the recent stories:

‘Awestruck and in total panic’, Yukon man survives grizzly attack. (August 10, 2008.)

A man from Haines Junction, Yukon, is crediting a smart dog, a sturdy tree and a can of bear spray with saving him from a recent grizzly bear attack.

Bob Hayes said he came across the grizzly sow on Aug. 3, while running with his dog on a recreational trail just outside Haines Junction.

“When I saw her, she was already charging me,” Hayes told CBC News in an interview Friday afternoon.

“I saw this immense instant attack coming at me, and I kind of exclaimed something that … probably most people would exclaim,” he added with a chuckle.

Montana man shoots, kills home invading cougar. (August 9, 2008.)

A Townsend man said he had “a little excitement to start the morning” when a mountain lion launched itself through a closed window at his home and tore apart a room in his basement.

Scott Vine, a 45-year-old ranch worker, said the female adolescent cat set off an alarm on his property at about 6:30 a.m. Thursday.

“My dogs started raising hell,” said Vine, whose wife and two stepchildren, ages 14 and 20, were also home at the time. “I looked out the window and there was a lion.” Vine said he grabbed his rifle moments before the mountain lion crashed into his house.

“That window exploded,” he said. “All of the sudden I had glass, I had curtain, I had lion coming over my head.”

Vine retreated upstairs as the 60- to 70-pound feline made its way to the basement, where it knocked items from shelves and clawed at the walls. Vine and a friend who brought a shotgun and a rifle with him killed the animal about 20 minutes later.

Jogger attacked by grizzly in Anchorage park (August 9, 2008.)

For the second time in six weeks, an Anchorage resident has been mauled by a grizzly bear in Far North Bicentennial Park.

The woman, who has yet to be identified, was reported to be jogging along Campbell Creek around 6 p.m. Friday evening when she was attacked by a sow with two cubs. What is believed to be the same bear has been involved in a variety of aggressive confrontations with people since June.

Colorado hiker, shoots, kills mountain lion (August 7, 2008.)

A man shot and killed a mountain lion north of New Castle Tuesday night after the animal came too close to him and his wife, according to the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

Randy Hampton, a spokesman for the DOW, said the agency received a call about the shooting a little after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. It occurred on the Main Elk Road north of New Castle, he said.

The man and his wife were out for a walk in the area when the mountain lion came out of the brush and was in a “crouch position,” Hampton said. The couple’s names were not immediately available late Wednesday.

“(The mountain lion) began to approach them,” he said. “The husband was carrying a firearm, and he shot and killed the lion as it got really close.”

Alaska teen versus grizzly: “I got her good”. (August 5, 2008.)

Devon Rees could have played dead. Or run. Instead, he chose to fight the bear that lunged out of the woods near his home in Eagle River on Monday morning.

And, though he ended up with a harvest of cuts and bruises, he survived.

“I definitely earned my bragging rights boxing a bear,” said Rees, 18. “It got me a couple of times, and I got her a good couple of times. I wasn’t going to give the bear an easy target.”

B.C. woman mauled by black bear in suburban garden (August 7, 2008.)

Neighbours rushed to the rescue when they saw a black bear mauling a Coquitlam woman in her front garden yesterday.

“We basically came out of our driveway and we heard screams,” said neighbour Mike Cillo, a 56-year-old cab driver who was with his son Christian, 12.

“We saw the woman in her driveway and the bear was on top of her, chewing on her. I drove my van up and leaned on the horn to try to scare the bear, but he just grabbed her by the arm and dragged her toward the front entrance.

Second bear threatens Coquitlam home (August 7, 2008.)

Police shot and killed a huge black bear that had broken into a basement suite in Coquitlam, B.C., Thursday morning, RCMP said.

It was the second bear sighting in the suburban Vancouver community in the past two days. On Wednesday morning, officers killed another bear that had mauled a Coquitlam woman in her yard in the Westwood Plateau area.

Grizzly tangles with Yellowstone firefighter (August 12, 2008.)

A hotshot firefighter battling the 4,700-acre LeHardy fire in Yellowstone National Park was back to work Monday, only a day after being roughed up by a grizzly bear escaping the blaze.

Tony Allabastro, a member of the Lewis and Clark Forest Service hotshot crew based in Great Falls, reportedly saw the bear over his shoulder, coming from where his crew had been doing controlled burns, Sandy Hare, public information officer for the LeHardy fire, said Monday.

Before he had a chance to get his bear spray, the grizzly pounced on him and “roughed him up,” Hare said. The bear was “acting instinctually.”

Mountain lion in bedroom kills family dog (August 6, 2008.)

A mountain lion crept through an open door into a house outside Denver, snatched a Labrador retriever from a bedroom where two people were sleeping and left the dog’s dead body outside, wildlife managers said Tuesday.

No one else was hurt in the home about 14 miles southwest of Denver.

Wildlife officials later trapped the 130-pound male cat using the dog’s body as bait and fatally shot it.

Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesman Tyler Baskfield said the cat entered the house through open French doors early Monday and fled with the Labrador after the owners woke up.

“The people got up and looked around and saw the mountain lion’s tail leaving the house,” Baskfield said.

This last one reminds me of stories I used to read of marauding leopards in Africa.

There are a lot more stories that could be posted.

Although I wouldn’t be able to prove it, it seems to me that these attacks are becoming more frequent. Whether or not this is actually the case, I wouldn’t go traipsing about in the bush without some kind of protection, whether it be pepper spray or a firearm.