As long as people infringe on a bear’s habitat and make food readily available to them, there are going to be problems.

What do Maine’s wildlife biologists really know? Biologists will throw lots of numbers and statistics at us, but folks who do this can twist numbers to their advantage, and I simply can’t trust them.

What the biologists don’t talk about is animal cruelty, and that is a big, big problem. How can we avoid talking about it?

We bait bears with disgusting piles of garbage and then get angry when they wander into town looking for more food. We chase bears with hound dogs and call it sport, and worst of all, we trap bears.

Have you ever seen a bear trap? If you haven’t, let me say that it’s not exactly like one of those friendly Havahart traps. Can our wildlife biologists tell us what a bear must feel, when it’s caught in a trap. Biologists don’t deal with this kind of stuff because they’re not taught about it in school, but isn’t this more important than a whole bunch of numbers?

Our humanity is expressed by the way we treat our fellow human beings, and it is also expressed in the way we treat animals. All the animals, big and little, tame and wild, should have our respect.

For me, it’s enough to gaze in awe and to realize that these wonderful creatures did not evolve for my amusement.

Maine is the only state that allows baiting, hounding and trapping of bears. We can change this.

Stuart Silverstein