Sunday, May 11, 2014

Woman says hungry bear killed her llama

A New Hampshire woman says she's in shock after a bear jumped over her fence, scared her llama and ended up chasing and killing it. Crystal Rokes from Sullivan said bears have been on her property before but never this close to her animals. Rokes said footprints in the mud show where the bear jumped her fence. "I think all the animals were over here by the footprints," she said.

"There are deep prints where the horse got wound up and excited. ... The bear prints were clearly running this way. You can see them in the mud." Possibly spooked by the bear, Francois the llama jumped the fence and ran. "And I know a bear's instinct is when something is running, they chase it," she said. "That's why they tell you to never run." The Rokes have several animals and initially didn't realize the llama was missing. Then they searched for it and a neighbour eventually found the body on the other side of their property by a fence.

Wildlife biologist Rob Calvert said birdfeeders and food bowls commonly attract bears this time of year. Rokes said she had bird seed on the second floor of her home, but nothing but hay for the llamas. "You may want to use air horns, whistles or make noises that make (bears) less comfortable," Calvert said. Rokes said she was also told to play talk radio because the voices can scare off a bear. She said she plans to spray ammonia along the fence, as well. "I don't want any harm to come to a bear for their natural instinct, but I just want people to be aware and protect what they have got, because you just don't think it's ever going to happen to you," she said.

YouTube link.

Wildlife biologists said such an attack is rare, but it's the time of year that bears are very hungry and more likely to get close to humans. Experts said bears lose one-third of their body fat over winter. While they don't usually go after livestock, they might smell something that attracts them to homes and farms. The Fish and Game department said people who lose livestock to bears can receive compensation. Victims need to write a letter to the department, which then investigates and determines how much money will be paid out.


WilliamRocket said...

If you built your home on top of where I gather my food, I would come and eat your stuff too.

MH said...

No doubt. At least she seems pretty reasonable about it. She's doesn't seem mad at the bear for wanting to eat. Just, you know, warning people their llamas might be delicious.