Public News Service | New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE — What is being portrayed by some as an infrequent and humane response to hungry bears entering towns looking for food, is actually quite another matter, according to Jan Hayes founder of Sandia Mountain Bear Watch. Hayes is looking for the state to institute stopgap diversionary feeding to keep the bears alive at this difficult time, and keep them away from people.
Bears in the Sandia Mountains are entering towns looking for food during the long New Mexico drought.
Photo courtesy of: Jim Robertson via Public News Service)
She said what is happening to Sandia Mountain bears is an ecological disaster, that the drought and lack of food for the bears, along with the hunter-focused attitudes of New Mexico Game and Fish, add up to a decimated bear population.
“They want the animals to be there for hunter opportunity,” she said. “Their only mode of management is to trap or kill. The Sandias is a wildlife preserve. So, it’s not a moneymaker for Game and Fish. Bears are a problem species that they would really prefer not be here.”