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Start Glorifying Bears

Jen Groncki
Bear munching on some grass!

Are bears really these mean and vicious creatures we seek them out to be? Will they really not think twice about killing you and your family right there on the spot? The simple answer to that is NO. They are kind and beautiful creatures who are wise above their years. In Native Alaskan tribes, bears are a symbol of wisdom. They are often considered guardians, teachers, leaders, and healers in these stories, myths, or legends. 

There is a legend from the Tlingit Native Alaskan tribe about a bear and a woman. This woman marries a bear and her brothers don’t like that she has married the bear so they set out to find and kill the bear. The bear is wise and gets a message that the brothers want to kill him. The woman tells the bear not to kill her brothers so the bear tells the woman what to do with his body once her brothers kill him. We should learn from this story by American Indians and the Natural World, “Bears, the most important land animal, typifies the relationship between humans and animals. In nature, a bear behaves like a human and competes for the same resources. It can walk on its hind legs, fish for salmon, and use its dexterous paws to eat berries and nuts. When pursuing a bear, the hunter carefully carries out a special ritual, for he is killing a creature whose soul is akin to his own.”

Bears are special creatures who are so important. They deserve the utmost respect. Unlike common misconceptions, bears are actually loving animals. They have a caring nature to them because they want to protect. Bears are more scared of you than you are of them, the main reason people get hurt by bears is because they are trying to protect their cubs from danger. According to Digital Commons, “Of defensive attacks, 85% were by female bears, and 91% of those females had young.” One thing you learn when hiking in bear-populated areas is that if you are loud, they won’t bother you. There is a song that helps you be noisy keeping the bears away while spreading a good message… 

 “Hey bear, ho bear, what are you gonna do? I’m here you’re there, I’m just passing through. Hey bear, ho bear it’s such a lovely day! This is your land, I understand, and I will be on my way! Hey!” 

To put it in simple terms, if you are respectful to the bears they will be respectful to you. 

I have a personal experience with bears. Growing up in Alaska you learn how important bears are to the ecosystem. There is a rule, called leave no trace, which tells you to be mindful of your surroundings and leave the land the same as you came because the bears and animals were there first. 

Bears do so much good for the world. Say you took away bears, how could it change the ecosystem? When the so-called “dangerous” bears disappear from our world, the whole ocean will change. If there are no bears, the fish will become overpopulated and overeat other small fish, plankton, and krill, while also depleting our kelp forests. This will lead to less food for the sea urchins so they will die. And do you know what animal eats the sea urchins, the sea otters? They will have little to no food. The bears are so important to keep the balance in our world so we need to start glorifying the bears.

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About the Contributor
Mikaela Groncki
Mikaela Groncki, Reporter
Mikaela Groncki is a part of the Class of 2026 at Oakmont Regional High School. This is her second year being a part of The Oakmonitor. She is a part of the Varsity Girls’ Soccer team, the Indoor Track team, and is on the Spring Track team. In her free time, she likes to ski, bike, hike, surf, play soccer, go on walks with her dog, Ellie, and do things with her friends.  

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    Brandon TheriaultMay 21, 2024 at 10:28 am

    I disagree, but good article.