The Bear Woman of Mendocino County
Think that old woman who lives down your street with 25 different cats is crazy? Well, she’s got nothing on...
Think that old woman who lives down your street with 25 different cats is crazy? Well, she’s got nothing on Lynne Gravier of Mendocino County, California. Gravier, 76, has been arraigned on a misdemeanor charge of feeding up to 14 different bears, according to a story by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Gravier is accused of buying 6,000 pounds of rolled and cracked corn a month to feed bears on her her 40-acre property. By feeding the bears year after year, she has essentially domesticated the bruins, naming some of them Wombat, Smiley, Goofy, Connie and Biggie.
“This is probably one of the most severe bear-feeding cases that I have run into in my career,” game warden Loren Freeman told the Chronicle. Now that the bears are going unfed, they’ve slimed down and some are worried they’ll start ransacking homes.
Gravier’s home was recently raided by authorities and was condemned when they found it full of filth and bear feces. Gravier is now staying in another family-owned home.
Most people who are knowledgeable about the outdoors know that feeding bears is a bad idea, but some of Gravier’s friends see otherwise and argue that prosecutors are harassing a kind old animal lover. They even organized a demonstration at the courthouse. What do you think OL readers? Is a criminal misdemeanor and foreclosing Gravier’s home a punishment that fits her crime?
There’s no doubt that this is an odd story all around, but there was one line the reporter wrote that seemed especially strange to me: “Gravier’s behavior … goes to the question of what it means to be a nature lover, and whether it is even possible to keep wild animals wild.”
This line is strange to me because I’ve known the answer to that question since I was a little kid. I have always known exactly what it means to be an nature lover and how to keep wild animals wild.
Be a hunter.