Letter: Police must make split-second decisions

I can't blame the police for shooting the bear that was roaming our city streets. Our police officers are not experienced with wild animals. It is difficult to tell when an animal has been familiarized to humans and when it has not. Likewise, it is difficult to tell if an animal is ready to attack or not, even if you have had experience with wild animal behavior. How many citizens of Kingman are capable of determining if a bear is going to attack or not?

As for the tranquilizer issue, you must be trained to administer the drug. You have to have an idea of the animal's weight and age, roughly. The drugs are regulated by the FDA and must be kept in accordance with federal guidelines. They are to be locked up securely and only accessed by staff designated to handle them. They have to stay in a certain temperature range or they can break down, becoming either dangerous or ineffective. That said, you can't leave a bear to its own agenda in the reach of potential food, humans.

It is a judgment call and hindsight has the luxury of low-risk problem-solving. But, a judgment call is here and now. Standing in front of a wild animal that has the strength and capability to turn you into tasty bite-size morsels is not a place anyone wants to be. Should you find yourself there to protect the public at large, meaning you're standing between citizens and a potential threat to their safety, you will do what you must to protect the public you serve, no matter how much you hate it, or regret it.

After all was said and done, I saw the photograph of the bear and hindsight leads me to question certain observations. The bear had relatively clean claws, and his paw pads were not all rough and cracked. The bear also had little dust or dirt in its fur. The bear was trying to get in through doors.

He could not have come from the Hualapai Mountains. If he had, someone would have seen him. Right? He would have tried to get into those homes as well. There are horses in corrals in the Hualapai Foothills as well. Lunch for a hungry bear. So why would a bear traverse all that way, ignoring cows, horses, pets and homes, only to try to break into homes in the golf course area?

Think about this logically. Was this a discerning bear that thought only the homes on the golf course contained the choicest morsels? I tend to think he must have been someone's exotic pet. Or perhaps he broke loose from a truck transporting him?

If you had an animal you were not technically supposed to have, would you call Animal Control and ask; "Have you found my bear?" or "I was illegally transporting a bear that got loose. Can you help me find him?" or "I drive for the circus and this is the third wild animal act I've lost. Can you help me find the bear?" I think the deeper issue really is, "Where did the little fellow come from?" I really have doubts about the Hualapai Mountains theory.

Herb Schroeder

Kingman