No more warnings
Vail CO, Colorado
Bears breaking into Vail trash cans have become a summertime tradition, but not the kind we want to celebrate.
After years of urging residents to dispose of their trash properly ” through verbal warnings, public serve announcements or news stories ” Vail is requiring residents to purchase and use bear-proof containers.
Those who fail to comply with the town law are being ticketed.
It seems harsh. An elderly woman and longtime local received a ticket earlier this month. She’ll have to go to court on charges of “intentional or unintentional feeding” of wildlife. The punishment could range from little more than a tongue lashing from a judge to a stiff, $999 fine.
Those who haven’t purchased their bear-proof containers are rarely hardened criminals. But their failure, forgetfulness or downright refusal to keep trash away from bears is creating a safety hazard for all of us.
Last year, several bears broke into Vail-area homes. One even attacked a 72-year-old woman in her East Vail home. Thankfully, her injuries were not severe.
Bears are destroyed every summer across the state; bears tend to hit up the same neighborhoods once they discover they can regularly gorge on stinky trash that residents didn’t put away properly. It’s sad to learn that a bear or a cub has to be destroyed due to a human’s negligence.
It’s far worse to learn that a human has been injured by a bear for exactly the same reason.
That’s why Vail Police should enforce the law by ticketing violators. They’ve had enough warnings.
” Tamara Miller for the Editorial Board