Stop Killings of Smoky Mountain Black Bears

Black Bears by beingmyself

Target: Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent Cassius Cash

Goal: Replace euthanization of problem bears with rehabilitation.

In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, “problem bears,” or aggressive bears who have become reliant on people for food, are considered beyond help, and are euthanized to protect the safety of park visitors. Recently, a 400-pound bear was killed by park officials after a sleeping hiker was attacked in his tent; however, DNA evidence revealed that the euthanized bear was not actually responsible for the attack. Rehabilitation, a viable alternative to euthanasia, might prevent future unfortunate, pointless losses like the one in this case, while protecting the safety and livelihood of both visitors and bears.

Though black bear attacks on humans are extremely unusual, and serious injury rarely results from such an encounter, the animals can become aggressive as a result of human impacts on their environment. Any contact with humans can damage a bear’s well-being, gradually removing the healthy, instinctual fear of people that black bears naturally possess and encouraging movement toward populated areas where human food is more easily scavenged. When a black bear develops a taste for salty, sugary human food, its instincts for finding food in its natural environment are hobbled; the bear becomes reliant on people to satiate its hunger, and can be found scavenging in human refuse, or approaching people in hopes of being offered food — both potentially dangerous scenarios.

Bear rehabilitation programs, though few in number, have a proven track record of “deprogramming” bears out of learned, destructive behaviors resulting from human interaction. It seems appropriate to the National Park Service’s mission to take a conservation-minded approach with problem animals, and rehabilitate them rather than simply dispose of them. Ask that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park replace its killings of problem bears with a rehabilitation program that will allow them to be reintroduced to their natural environment.


Dear Superintendent Cash,

The black bear is a beloved symbol of the Smoky Mountains, and millions of visitors flock to the Smokies annually in hopes of spotting these adorable animals. These visitors sometimes negatively impact these bears in ways they don’t realize are harmful — feeding them, ingratiating them to people, and otherwise reducing their ability to listen to their natural instincts. Sometimes, these bears unfortunately become aggressive, endangering themselves and park visitors.

Though it seems unfair that bears must be punished for the impacts that humans make on their lives, we understand the need for park officials to create a safe environment for park visitors. As an alternative to euthanasia, especially following the recent, unfortunate killing of a bear that was not actually responsible for an attack, we, the undersigned would like to propose that problem bears be rehabilitated and re-released into their home, the Smokies. We, the undersigned, believe that no bear is disposable.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: beingmyself

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  1. Gerard FABIANO says:


  2. val gaffney says:

    No bear nr any animal for that matter is “disposable” We don’t have the right to just keep killing animals because its the easy way out! Not tomention the cowards way out!

  3. Wendy Morrison says:

    Stop killing BLACK BEATS and ALL other ANIMALS too!!!

  4. Dont know why these humans are so fucking SICK and all they know is KILLING KILLING, TORTURE all innocent animals for their own pleasure !! SHAME ON THEM N SUCH EVIL HEARTS THEY HAVE !! GOD IS WATCHING AS ANIMALS ARE GOD’S CREATIONS TOO!! KARMA! WHAT GO ROUND AND IT WILL COMES BACK TO YOU EVILS !!!!

  5. The park has many visitors so are the rangers going to kill all the bears so the visitors be safe? To begin with, the park has a wide range of wildlife animals so the park is not suppose to be safe. Its not Disneyland park. It should be posted “At your own risk” when in the park. This is the animal’s home environment not the visitors! Protect the animals, save them, relocate them when they intrude into a camp (which is THEIR territory to begin with)not the visitors. Dumb rangers even killed the wrong bear what a waste.

  6. Superintendent Cassius Cash
    Why is it the animals are the ones punished for the stupid humans that cause
    this problem? YOU NEED TO ARREST the dumb humans and put them in jail.
    They need to be heavily fined and made to work doing jobs at the park. Make them pick up trash, empty the garbage cans, clean the trails,ect. The forest
    are the animals territory where they live and exist with nature. The humans are the ones that are invading their territory and making problems. When
    an animal feels threatened then they fight back. DON’T BLAME the animals
    that are only doing what they instinctively know to do. Why don’t you find another solution to the problem instead of killing. That is the cowards way out.

  7. Eva Cantu says:


  8. Christine Lockhart, you summed this up correctly.
    That poor bear was killed for being ‘in the vicinity’** The ‘professionals’, didn’t have a larger collar on them when they caught it (why?)**
    The bear was too big and heavy to drag/lift to the holding facility, until the DNA results came in**
    It is the humans fault, that these innocent animals raid their camps and tents. They are the trespassers, not the animals.
    If people can’t follow the rules, to which the Park Rangers are probably paid to enforce, then these people must be punished and fined.

  9. Bev Woodburn says:

    When will these animal torturing gun happy human monsters stop deliberately murdering such precious Black Bears and all the other helpless and innocent Wildlife they deliberately enjoy murdering?
    These animal murdering monsters must be charged with deliberate animal torture and suffering and jailed for life.
    Humans must learn they are not the only species on the Planet who deserve to live their lives out without the threat of the sadistic and callous human species.,

  10. Lisa Zarafonetis Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Signed & Shared. ?

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