Petition to Evaluate California State Laws and Practices Concerning Wild Bears
**The following petition will be sent to the office of California Governer Jerry Brown; Lisa Mangat, Director of Transforming California State Parks; Matthew Rodriguez, Secretary for Environmental Protection at CalEPA; Gordon Burns, Undersecretary for Environmental Protection at CalEPA; Grant Cope, Deputy Secretary for Environmental Policy at CalEPA; and Arsenio Mataka, Assistant Secretary for Environmental Justice and Tribal Affairs at CalEPA.**
On June 24th, 2016, a man camping at Millard Campgrounds near Altadena, California was injured when a bear attempted to enter a tent and scratched the camper's head. The camper required about a dozen stitches to close the wound on his head, but the 120 pound black bear escaped before it could be captured. Efforts to track this bear have already begun. According to California State Law once this bear is found it will be euthanized. We are requesting for immediate action to stop the hunt and euthanization of the young bear being implicated in this incident. This bear ran away from the camper in fear once it realized there was a human in the tent, clearly it was not intending to harm any humans. It would be more reasonable to relocate and track this bear once it has been evaluated for disease, especially since it's behavior was not out of character. There is no need to punish a wild animal for being a wild animal when humans are invading his territory. In addition to the immediate call to action concerning this bear's life, we are calling upon law makers and environmental advocates in California to reevaluate the protocols for the handling of future wild animal "attacks" such as this recent event. We would like to ask for consideration to be given to the practice of relocation for wild animals who are merely acting like wild animals, instead of automatic euthanization upon capture. Black bears are very timid and do not attack humans without significant cause to do so. In many cases of wild animal interaction, the animals are either defending their young, or they are looking for food. We would ask lawmakers and leaders within the government and the California Parks and Recreation community to develop a program which evaluates the true danger a wild animal presents after the animal has had interaction with humans. It is our hope that we will be able to better preserve the wildlife found within the parks systems in California and that over time the number of animals being euthanized due to human negligence will greatly decrease. We are additionally requesting for more safety programs to be utilized within the parks system. We would ask for additional signage and documentation throughout the public parks better informing the public of the correct precautionary steps to take in order to avoid instances of wild animal interactions. We believe wild animals should stop paying the price for the disregard to safety practices we are seeing from humans visiting state and national parks. It is time to protect the wildlife and the wilderness surrounding us through better evaluation of laws and more comprehensive educational and safety programs.