Surreptitiously watching a baby bear tumble around on an injured leg.
Cannot make eye contact and cannot talk. Must even purposely frighten him on occasion. The sound of human voices accompanied by feedings & other rehabilitation caregiving would teach wildlife to trust humans, and this could be the death of them. Because after the animals are healed and re-released, they would trustingly run toward hunters rather than away from them!
In love. In heaven. Completely happy.
And deeply worried.
Because I know this precious piece of life will be back in the wild, soon. And he’ll be on his own.
We found him huddled beside the body of his mother, who had been shot by a hunter. We weren’t able to save her, which broke my heart. But this little guy is gonna be fine. He’s healthy, and just old enough to begin foraging on his own.
And what a hero this baby is!
He tried valiantly to protect his mother when we approached. When I say it broke my heart that she died, I mean it BROKE. MY. WHOLE. HEART.
Animals have feelings. And they run as deeply as our own.
This little guy was in a depression for weeks. Wouldn’t eat, whimpered incessantly, and even now, won’t stop looking for his mother where we put her, in a pen in the woods surrounding our rehab center, while trying to save her.
I sometimes take photos of our patients, but I refuse to do anything that would acclimate this little guy to humans. I want him to fear us in order for him to be safe when he’s out there on his own. I want him to RUN from humans with the fear of the devil, because hunters will see him only as a target & snuff out the life we’ve worked hard to save – just as they did to his mother.
That one day, ALL humans will use their position of power over other forms of life to protect those lives rather than destroy them.
What do you think about how humans treat wildlife?