Sunday, September 12, 2010

Black Bear Population Rises In Texas

Black bears now join mountain lions in the ever-growing list of species that seem to be making a comeback in areas that haven't seen populations in more than a century. One healthy sign of black bear populations in Texas is a sudden spike in sightings reported in the eastern bordelands of that state. It would seem that numbers have risen enough in bordering states of Arkansas and Oklahoma that juvenile males have ventured further afield in search of their own territories.

If I might make a prediction, I suggest those who take interest in Bigfoot sightings be prepared for a spike in coming months. If these bears are now venturing into areas that haven't seen them in decades, the chances for misidentification run high.

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In a related matter of migrating species, I can't help but express a modicum of concern regarding the forthcoming animated feature "Alpha and Omega".  This movie is, in essence, the story of two wolves at opposite ends of the lupine hierarchy (one being an 'alpha', or leader, and the other is the low man on the totem pole) being forced to work together to stop a bloody conflict from erupting between two rival packs.  However, I cannot believe that the manner in which this odd couple is thrust together won't manifest itself as some sort of misguided social commentary about how man is really snatch up wolves to relocate them where they don't belong.

While it's no secret that projects do exist that move wolves to new areas, this isn't a horrific abduction. These animals are being reintroduced into areas where unbridled hunting had previously killed them off. It is man actually trying to put right a mistake. The same has been done for many other animals in the past, but somehow the wolf stands as a point of controversy while the California Condor remains a beacon of greater human stewardship. Baffling.

And I may be wrong. Maybe this movie won't touch on this subject at all and simply use it as a plot device for how two animals get thrust together that would otherwise not be seen as equals within the pack.

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