The community of Mammoth Lakes continues with its wish to live and let live when it comes to bears. The particular flash point for that philosophy this season is Blondie the Bear, a year-old female who freely enters homes for food. Sacramento officials have now entered the fray.
At last week’s Mammoth Town Council meeting, Chief Randy Schienle and Wildlife Officer Steve Searles let the Council know that Blondie continued to break into kitchens around town. Searles said residents are willingly locking their windows and doors to keep Blondie out, but now the bear, he said, has begun to break through closed windows and doors. So have other bears around town.
Recognizing the potential for public safety problems, Searles and Chief Schienle have tried to get depredation permits to shoot Blondie. The Department of Fish and Game won’t allow government agencies to get these permits.
Citizens have called on highly placed DFG officials to come to the aid of the town. Mono State Senator Dave Cox has even come into the picture. So has Congressman Buck McKeon and the Los Angeles Times.
Politically speaking, no one wants to shoot Blondie and take on the villainous reputation of the one who destroyed Mammoth’s favorite bear.
Bear re-location is out of the question, according to DFG, and a citizen’s plan to ship Blondie to a wildlife sanctuary in Colorado seems like a dim possibility.
So, for Blondie and the Town of Mammoth, it’s a one day at a time affair.