Tragedy struck on Thursday afternoon this week in Portola when a black bear cub was hit and killed by a speeding driver in downtown Portola on Thursday Nov. 17th around 3pm, by the library and city park. Portola resident Ashlee Sims witnessed the aftermath:
“Mother bear was beside herself and very upset. I saw her afterwards and the look she gave me of panic is indescribable.. just writing about it makes me cry again, not sure if they put the baby out of it misery or what all the gunshots were about. Whole town is in an uproar over it.”
Comments on Facebook include:
“people drive crazy down that street”
“poor mama and baby I’m so very sad for her. I hope the jacka$$ who hit the baby got in trouble.”
“I would like to know who hit the bear I would imagine that person who “hit” the bear is around 180 pounds let’s put them in the road run them over and notify the family and say we didn’t see them…”
“How in the hell would someone be going so freaking fast not to see the cub Open your eyes and slow the F#¥k down! Idiots”
Bears should not be wandering around downtown Portola. They are hungry this time of year, getting ready to hibernate. When people leave out their garbage or feed the bears intentionally, it draws bears into towns where they are hit by cars or killed by wildlife wardens.
Remember, a fed bear is a dead bear. The best way to protect bear populations is to keep them wild. The Tahoe Bear League has some great resources on their website and tips on how humans and bears can coexist safely. Main tip is to never leave food out that bears can access. Scare them away with pots and pans if they are in the neighborhood.
Also, this area near the park and library needs traffic calming measures and greater enforcement of speeding. The bears are not the only ones whose kids are at risk! Write to Portola City Council and ask them to traffic calm the area by the park and library, step up enforcement, and aggressively cite people for leaving trash out overnight or feeding wild animals. We can do better, for the mother bear and all mothers who have lost kids to the violence of motorized traffic or dysfunctional wildlife practices.