I read the comments about the bear that was killed in Newton (“Unnecessary cruelty,” Editorial, June 5; “There should have been way to spare this bear,” Letters, June 6). It is always sad when an animal is killed. However, those who judge the decision by the Environmental Police to put the bear down miss relevant points.
Bears will travel 100 miles if they remember a great food source. I live in Pittsfield, about 135 miles west of Newton, and we have our share of bears, including one that frequents my property. Relocating a bear may not be enough.
In addition, we need to consider the danger to others if the bear crossed a busy roadway, such as the Mass. Pike, and was struck and killed or, worse, caused accidents as drivers tried to avoid crashing into a 200-pound block of muscle. Here in the Berkshires, a black bear on a dark night can result in a hazardous collision.
It’s easy to second-guess. The ink wasn’t even dry on the press about how well Bostonians cooperated during the manhunt for the Marathon bombing suspects when some second-guessed the need to lock the area down. Second-guessing police is sport for some. But the facts and circumstances on the ground often do not allow for a roundtable discussion of every possible solution and the ramifications. Police typically think of what is the worst that can happen, and act accordingly. True, the bear was an innocent victim. But I think citizens near Boston were well served by the Environmental Police that day.