The bear came back. He had tampered with my bunny cages again. I got pissed.
So, I called the Georgia game warden and we made arrangements for him to come out to give me some advice.
Whatever is attacking my rabbits tends to defecate at the base of the cages, so this time, I saved the poop.
The warden came. His name was Joe. I said, “Joe, look at my poop. What do you think?”
Joe spit. Joe happens to spit every third sentence, which I thought was weird until I described it to Mark and he pointed out that the man probably had chew in his mouth (Ah yes. That makes sense. I’m not used to government officials with a wad of tobacco in their mouths, but then, I’m sure he’s not used to farmers calling him in who have classical music blaring on the loud speaker either.)
Joe considered all the evidence and took a look at my cage damage. He kicked my poop. Then he announced that yes, I have a bear. Nothing else could reach so high and bend the steel supports of my cages or leave me such a nice, big gift poop. I pointed out how the bear throws the heavy cage covers half way around the barnyard. He said they do that because it amuses them. He also said it was odd that a bear would be visiting my rabbits this time of year, because the forest has so much to eat now that the blackberries and such are in season. But the fact that he appears every ten days or so means he had staked out a large territory and he’s made of habit of his rounds. Joe suggested I stop leaving food in my rabbit cages, and then maybe the bear will take me off his grocery stops. This means more work for me and inconvenience for the rabbits, which seems sort of unfair. Joe did say that if I tried to discourage the bear and he continued to visit, they could come set a trap to have him removed, but they rather that be a last resort. The traps are dangerous to dogs and kids, and they’re a lot of trouble. He said that deer season will come around soon, and then we can shoot the bear if we want. Gee, thanks for nothing, Joe.
I said, “What if I start feeding the bear, just leave him a bucket of food so he won’t bother my animals.”
Joe about choked on his tobacco and said that would be a really bad idea.
I showed him my llama skull, now sitting in bleach in a bucket in my barn (which everyone in my family thinks is totally gross. Mark says, “What are you planning to do with it, Dear.” I told him I was going to use it to decorate a Christmas wreath for the barn or something.” (I was kidding) What can I say, I just felt compelled to save it. Actually, it is a fascinating thing – it looks like a dinosaur skull because the shape of the skull is so unlike a familiar cow head on the desert. The jaws are long and thin and filled with teeth like a pterodactyl. If only I still had a preschool, I’d donate it to the science collection where they had butterflies and beetles and bird nests to study. Probably scar my students for life, but still, it would definitely be something other preschools didn’t have to offer. Oops… I’m off the subject. Pardon me.)
I asked about mountain lions. Joe laughed, spit, and said that they had reports of that often, but they have yet to document a case. People call them in to see tracks, and they take a plaster, but it always ends up a big dog or something. He said we have no mountain lions – but we do have a few bobcats. They won’t eat anything bigger than a chicken. I told him the rumor down at the feed store about the person whose horse was killed and “split down the middle”. He said, “Trust me, it isn’t a mountain cat.”
Well, that is good news, I guess.
Joe said that a bear didn’t kill my llama. A bear would have buried the remains to come eat later. They won’t attack anything that big unless desperate, and with all the goodies I have around here, that just wouldn’t be the case. The fact that the skeleton was intact meant Dali was probably taken down my coyotes. They would gnaw at the flanks but leave the rest for other creatures to polish it off, just as they often do with deer. Had I discovered him sooner, I might have had evidence to support that theory. Glad I didn’t.
Joe suggested we try to shoot the coyotes, because they are not indigenous to the area and there is no law against killing these marauders. But, even if we were crack shots (and we aren’t) we won’t ever get rid of these pests, because they’ll repopulate faster than you can blink. Gee, Thanks for nothing, Joe.
He said my dead chickens are not a result of the coyotes or the bear. That is probably a possum or dog or fox or something else or most likely a combination of the above. So, catching the bear or shooting the coyotes still wouldn’t solve my problems. Apparently, nature is a resourceful enemy and she is going to keep coming at me over and over again, despite my best efforts to thwart her.
Joe told me to erect an electric fence around my bee hives for safety. (Then he spit) I might want to put one around my rabbit cages too. (He spit again) I pointed out that I have no electrical in these areas, and he suggested I purchase solar units. (More spit) This is getting complicated. Thanks for nothing Joe.
I will have to think on all this. I am getting pretty aggravated and I don’t know how much more my tender heart can take.
I’m mad enough to spit – not mad enough to take up chewing tobacco, but still, mad enough to spit. I’m either going to have to buy a gun and learn to shoot it, or start raising goldfish. Neither option appeals to me. Actually, spitting doesn’t appeal to me much either. Some days I really ask myself what the heck I’m doing here.