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Bear Shot in Azusa

In response to “Bear Killed by Police in Azusa Neighborhood,” May 21:

With all the poaching that is already decimating the bear population in this country, you would think a little more care would go into protecting the bear that wandered into a neighborhood. More disturbing, though, is the fact that it seems this bear was killed for the convenience of time. I have read nothing yet that suggests this bear was about to maul someone, only that it had broken through two barriers.

Of course there is the obvious question, why hadn’t the state Department of Fish and Game wardens shot more tranquilizer darts into this creature? Did they only bring two with them? Sadly, unlike a burglar or murderer, this bear did not realize it was committing a crime, so it should have been given more latitude.

Finally, I don’t think this sends a good message to the youth; there is enough senseless violence in this world. When we have a chance to save an innocent living creature, man or beast, we should try. This type of ending shows kids it is easier to shoot than try and resolve the situation to the mutual satisfaction of both parties.

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JANET HATCHER

Hermosa Beach

* I find it hard to believe that in this high-tech society, scientists have figured out how to go to the moon, how to shoot down Scud missiles, how to build a bigger and better electronic superhighway--yet can’t sedate a bear. What a crime against nature! When will we learn the high cost of exploiting our environment instead of preserving it?

LENORE NAVARRO DOWLING

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Los Angeles

* It appears that if humans get their way we will soon be living in a concrete jungle where “wildlife” is something viewed through steel bars. The bear that lost its way in the streets of Azusa didn’t realize it had entered the domain of humans and would soon become target practice.

The caption “Losing Its Bearings” (Orange County) above the photo of the bear taken before it was murdered is a sad parody of a play on words indicating the lack of respect and compassion humans have for animals. Humans aren’t the only species in the world, they just think they are.

JOELLE T. BAILEY

San Clemente

* Regarding “Animal Lovers Distraught at Bear’s Death,” May 22:

Those animal lovers who were upset probably wish that the bear had killed a child or two before the police stopped him. That would have justified the shooting. The fact that no one was injured is a tribute to the officer in charge of the scene, Sgt. James Collins, and the officers under him.

Yes, we have encroached on the bear’s habitat by building homes in his back yard. Yes, all our technology was unable to safely anesthetize the bear. Yes, it’s a shame that a beautiful wild animal with every right to live was destroyed.

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But the fact remains that everyone on the scene did all they could to avoid killing that bear. When we weigh the right of a bear to live against the duty of the police to protect the people, the people must prevail.

Thank you, Sgt. Collins, for doing your job and safeguarding the citizens who rely on you to be there.

LOUIS C. CASTLE

Culver City

* Another wild vicious beast was mercifully put to death after intruding into the domain of civilized man. This frightful scenario will continue to take place as long as adequate measures to ensure human safety are postponed.

Last month a jogger was put upon by a mountain lion who took her life when the woman inadvertently ran too close to the lion’s lair. And as inhabitable land is developed and possessed by our ever-expanding population, the risk grows.

My proposal is this: Move now to contain and control all areas that could be looked upon as potentially developed by man. Confine small numbers of indigenous species to zoos and eliminate the rest. Semi-automatic weapons would be particularly invaluable to the cause and would prove their worth to the age-old sport of the hunt. Not to mention newly created jobs for inner-city youth in the taxidermy industry that is sure to experience a boom following the inordinate amount of trophies that will need to be mounted. And while we’re at it, I would like to propose the elimination of all remaining forest in the state as well as in the nation. Forests tend to provide habitat for many dangerous species of violently inclined wildlife.

And then, there are the oceans. Let’s not forget the oceans.

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SCOTT BARTLETT DANCE

Hermosa Beach

* The Azusa Police Department has now provided me with a whole new definition for the term “out of control.” A bear strolling down a cul-de-sac or sleeping in someone’s off-limits driveway is now “out of control.”

Gee whiz and golly, I’m glad we citizens have got these tough guys to protect us. Who needs patience, ingenuity or compassion when we have tough hombres with guns?

MARIAN CARTER

West Covina


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