The fight-to-the-death struggle between a hunter and a wounded black bear last weekend in Pine County was only the 12th attack or near attack by a Minnesota bear on a human since 1987, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.
I've always had a fascination with animal-on-human attacks, since people's fear of such an event is so out of proportion to its occurrence. When it comes to wildlife vs. humans, it's clear who's winning. Since 1993, Minnesota hunters have "harvested" 64,880 bears. The DNR estimates that bear populations rose from 1980, peaked about the turn of the millenium, and have since declined by about a third, to somewhere between 12,000 and 15,000 in 2013.
Meanwhile, the World Wildlife Fund estimated this week that half the world's wildlife has disappeared in the past 40 years to make way for us. Can you blame the ones with claws and fangs for fighting back?