By now you’ve probably figured out that black bears are my totem, my company logo, my spirit animal, my favorite subject to photograph, just a real joy for me to be around. Not that I don’t love other critters. I do. I’m not just a fan..I’m in awe of our environment. But, we all have our favorites when it comes to nature. We are dog lovers, cat people, tree huggers and ocean protectors. Some of us just can’t stay away from snakes – others are drawn to mountainous terrain, or the study of the planets and stars. When it comes to nature, we develop a ‘special’ connection to a species, a landscape, or an attribute of Mother Nature. And that ‘connection’leads us to a greater understanding of the inter-dependence of all living beings.
That understanding teaches us how important it is that we protect our environment…. if not for our ‘favorite’ … then for our own survival. We cannot live without the oxygen given to us by plants and trees. We cannot live without clean water. We cannot live without clean air. We are not separate from nature. We are inter-connected and totally dependent upon Mother Earth.
Why am I on this soap box today? Well… recently my little home-town newpaper published an article about the local black bears. The article basically informs the community that due to a recent dry period there are less fruits and berries and the hungry black bears have entered more heavily populated areas in their quest for a meal. It was reported that 2 years ago this region had a population of 2,500 – it is now estimated to be 4,000. Black bears became protected in the 1980’s when over hunting pushed the black bear population to the brink.
The article continues – “So now that they are back to a healthy population, we are getting a high number of bear complaints, bear problems, and bear encounters”. The biologist said “We spend a lot of time telling people black bears are not predators. The only time I’ve seen any bear attacks in the area is when someone gets bit or scratched on the hand while trying to provide the bear with an ill-advised snack. Putting up trash, bird seed and fragrant pet food is the key to reducing bear vs. human run-ins”.
LOTS of people have moved into the territory of the bear. Many of these people do not heed the words of bear lovers or this particular biologist. And the bears pay for it.
The article concludes with “Now for the first time in nearly three decades the black bear game limit for hunters has been upped to two kills per season. We feel like it’s probably time for this. Our goal in bear management is now to level out the population”. – hmmmm – level out the population…… –
You know how sometimes ‘timing’ can be ironic? Well the same week this article about the black bear ‘boom’ was in our little weekly paper – the national news was informing the world that within days there will be 7 billion people on earth. By 2030 there will be 8 BILLION – Learn more here:
few as 20,000. Are this lioness and her young to be among the last lions?
Or will we as humans, having seen how tough, courageous and poignant their
lives in the wild are, be moved to make a difference?
-Support the film: Theaters are listed at www.thelastlions.com as well as has links to
-Join the Facebook Community: Like the film’s Facebook page to see film clips, deleted scenes, exclusive photos, and more!
-Trailer Donation Campaign: National Geographic will donate ten cents for each trailer view on YouTube (up to $100,000):
-Sweepstakes: Botswana Tourism and National Geographic Expeditions have teamed up on a sweepstakes offer for a trip for two to Botswana. Enter at TheLastLions.com
-Mobile Website: Visit thelastlions.com on your smart phone to download lion wallpapers, a lion roar ring tone, and the film’s trailer.
-Mobile Texting program: Text LIONS to 50555 to donate $10 to National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative.
After you see the film, talk to all your friends and family. Getting the buzz going is the best way to draw attention to the plight of wild lions and turn this trend around.