A report published yesterday by the Wildlife Conservation Society shows that black bears living in urban areas weigh more, get pregnant at a younger age, and are more likely to die violent deaths.
The study tracks 12 bears living in Lake Tahoe over a 10 year period and compares them to 10 bears living in surrounding “wildland” areas. The urban bears weighed an average of 30 percent more because their diet was delicious, fatty, garbage – basically the same stuff you eat. While the bears in the wildlands typically gave birth between 7-8 years of age, some of the skanky city bears first reproduced between the ages of 2-3 and the average was 4-5!
Perhaps least surprising were the stats on violent death, due to vehicle collisions.
You only live once brah.
In a report already replete with many almost too-incredible-to-be-true human corrollaries, the researchers determine that human cities are acting as “the ultimate bear traps” attracting young bears with their abundant food where they fall-in with other fast moving urban bears – i.e. the “wrong crowd.”
Sadly, the cities are depleting the wild populations by luring the young bears in with their partially eaten McDonalds and cheap crank. This is making it harder for wildland bear populations to remain steady.
Published in the Fall 2008 issue of Human-Wildlife Conflicts. The full article, Carnivores, urban landscapes, and longitudinal studies: a case history of
black bears, Beckman, J., and Carl Lackey