Walking with the Alligators

Walking with the Alligators
A Florida Alligator

April 5, 2015

Bison and Bears, the connection~

Wood Bison in Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta, Canada
Picture credit:  Laura Kaupas.

As you may have noticed, there has been a two month gap in postings here.
The reason is that my heart has been broken over the imminent approval of Hunting our beautiful Florida Black Bear.
The final, fateful decision is expected in a very short time.
But this morning, a story on our news, brought for the first time in over two months, a reason to smile and cause for joy.
Another creature which has occupied a huge place in my heart for over 30 years, has just been given a new lease on life.
The Wild Wood Bison, which has been gone here in America, for over one hundred years, is being brought back to Alaska.
The differences between them and our American Bison are in the links below.
This reintroduction of the Wild Wood Bison, is courtesy of the people of Canada, who did not completely decimate theirs, as we did.
This cooperation between our two countries, is but one more example of the good that Humans can do for wild animals, when they chose to do so.
By appearances, it would seem that the people of Canada care and respect their wildlife more than we do here.
An example, the history of our concern for our most  “at risk”  wild things in this country, has been, far too often at best, woefully neglectful.
Ask any resident of California, when they last saw a wild animal, no, not a deer, or a raccoon, but a true large wild animal.
They have been hunted, killed and chased out of not only California, but many, if not most, of the other lower 48 states for over a Century.
The joyful news today about the Wood Bison, is bittersweet, as we who live here in Florida await the final decision to come for our magnificent Florida Black Bear.
Once this is done and they kill or hunt too many of them, it will be too late to say,  sorry!
Like the stunning, Ivory Billed Woodpecker that once ranged freely all over the South East, and have now been hunted to extinction to adorn a ladies’ hat, come Fall, will our Black Bears also be no more?
Perhaps, we could learn a bit about wildlife compassion from our neighbors to the North?
There was one reference story of a Wildlife Park in Canada, where the Wood Bison and the Black Bear live together in apparent harmony.
Are you listening in Tallahassee?
There just may be a connection between the Black Bear and the Wood Bison.

Places to learn more:
Wood Bison Free in Alaska
Wood Buffalo National Park
Alaska wood bison being held at village to be released soon
Wood Bison set for release
Wood bison leave Portage for release in Alaska wild after an absence of more than 100 years
Phenotypic Differences Between the Bison Subspecies
Wood Bison Curriculum

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