We live in a small, remote town in the middle of nowhere in the Northwest Territories, Canada. We are surrounded by two mountain ranges, beside the mighty Mackenzie River, and have no roads to drive out on (in the summer), therefore, we can only get out and in by plane. It is a nice town, and our place (provided to us by the government) is not bad (although it's not the brand new house we had at our last posting :( ). I have the kids outside everyday to play in the back yard, and they love it. Our yard is littered with cars, balls, a slide, a playhouse, all of the things a little kid could want.
Lately there have been a lot of bears in town. They usually hang out at the dump, a few miles out of town, but in their infinite wisdom, the ENR (environmental gurus) have decided to enforce the electric fence at the dump. Therefore, the bears are looking for food. They are looking for food in town. With a vengence.
Last week, a bear had torn apart a freezer on someone's deck, and they shot it. This week, a bear attacked someone in a residential area, and decided to break down someone's door to eat their food in their kitchen in the middle of the night. They killed that one, too.
As I sit on my back deck watching the kids play (and typing this, and keeping a keen eye on the areas outside our 4 foot high fence that a hungry bear wouldn't hesitate to jump), I am a little nervous. I mean, at the dump, the bears are pretty happy, with all of the garbage they can eat, and not really minding the people that go out there to dump their own garbage or just bear watch. It makes me wonder why they want to keep them out so bad, I seem to think that a bear at the dump, happily feasting on leftovers is a hell of a lot more safe there than roaming the streets of our town.
And on that note, it just blows me away at how people just let their kids ride around town by themselves, play in the front (unfenced) yards by themselves. I admit I am a little over the top when it comes to protecting my kids, but I would never let them roam the streets alone, let alone let them play in the fenced yard without me watching at all times.
People are different up here, for sure. Nobody seems to be worried that there are bears all over town, but I guess because I am just an immigrant prairie girl, I am really the one that's different here.
But, I bet I won't get eaten by a bear.