CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- IN THE mixed-up world of animal-rights activism, logic sometimes takes a back seat.
The latest example comes from California, where activists have been thwarting wildlife officers' attempts to trap and relocate nuisance bears.
According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, activists have staked out culvert-style traps to frighten away bears attracted to the bait inside. They've also smeared the traps' entrances with Pine-Sol cleanser, which has a scent bears don't like.
All this is taking place in and around the resort community of Lake Tahoe, where bears have been raiding residents' cabins in search of food.
The activists say they don't think it's necessary to trap and relocate nuisance bears, or to euthanize those that have become habitual offenders.
That's right. The activists are completely discounting the knowledge and experience of trained wildlife officers whose job it is to assess whether nuisance animals should be trapped or destroyed.
Clearly the activists believe that they, with their degrees in art appreciation or theater history, and their vast experience as pizza delivery drivers, somehow are better qualified to make that call.
So they choose to help nuisance bears roam free, even if it means risking Tahoe residents' lives.
With any luck, no one will end up getting hurt or killed. After all, the bears in question are black bears, not grizzlies. Attacks by black bears on humans are relatively rare.
But they do happen.
Do any of those activists truly think that a 400-pound black bear, stuffing its face with groceries from someone's pantry, wouldn't take a swipe at the groceries' owner if confronted? And don't they realize that a single blow from the paw of a large black bear can easily snap a human's neck?