Editorial: Bear killer targeted for criticism

Some of the neighbors of Julie Strauja in California think she is public enemy No. 1. She has been targeted for death threats on social media.

Strauja is the mother of three young children in Forest Falls, California.

Her crime? Killing a bear that was threatening her family.

It started when a 400-pound bear broke into her garage to get at her garbage. She moved her garbage can inside the house to deter the bear. The bear showed up again and she sprayed it with mace and had a local deputy shoot it with a bean bag to scare it off.

The bear came back one more time and this time entered her home and attacked her dog in the kitchen. Her response was to go to the Department of Fish and Wildlife and they gave her a depredation permit, which allowed her to shoot the bear if it threatened her family.

It did and she had a neighbor shoot and kill the bear.

Her neighbors reacted negatively, walking by her house and calling her a “bear killer” and yelling obscenities.

One tweeting that the shooting was “unacceptable” because “the bear was just being a bear.” Another sent her tips on “how to keep bears safe.”

Ironically, she is very liberal and did not want to even harm this bear. But it was threatening her family. She had no choice.

Humans shouldn’t abuse animals but human safety should be a much higher priority than some misguided sense of justice about a out-of-control wild predator.

Criticizing this woman is so wrong headed. Maybe her neighbors would not be critical if a bear came in their kitchen.