A group of animal rights activists is angry after a bear was found sporting a Trump2020 reelection sticker on its tracking collar.
According to a Facebook post from Help Asheville Bears – HAB, a bear was spotted on an Asheville, North Carolina porch. The homeowner noticed a colorful sticker on its radio tracking collar, after closer inspection, it turned out to be a Trump 2020 reelection sticker.
Here is an excerpt from the post with the initial report of the bear from a woman named Shelia from North Asheville.
“Today I was surprised to find this visitor on my front porch. We live in North Asheville and are frequently visited by bears. Our neighborhood does its best to peacefully coexist with the bears and have few problems– and the problems we do have are usually because we forget to secure our garbage cans.
We have been visited by collared bears for the last 2-3 years. When I first started seeing the collars, I was very concerned about their comfort and safety. The collars are heavy and the bears are obviously uncomfortable, especially when becoming adapted to the heavy appliances. I was able to find out that the bears were collared by the North Carolina Urban/Suburban Bear Study and on May 12, 2019, I spoke with a member of this organization who assured me the bears were safe and that the collars were used to improve bear safety through research. The group sounded committed to protecting our Urban bears and promoting their health and well being.
That is why I was shocked to see this on the bear’s collar today. I believe this is an abhorrent practice. These bears are already suffering enough with the heavy collars and metal ear mutilations. But to put a political sticker on the collar? No words can describe my anger and sadness. I have reached out to North Carolina Urban/Suburban Bear Study number that I had from May 19, 2019, as well as North Carolina Wildlife Resources, but have not heard back from either.
I hope that someone can help identify the organization and person or persons who did this and that appropriate actions are taken. This should not be hard to do because there has to be a database of bears tagged and the tagger in any credible research organization. It will be easy to identify the specific bear because we have the date, time, and the exact location of the bear that can correlate with collar GPS data.
This is not the first time bears in the region have been found with pro-Trump political stickers another one turned up in September of 2019.
HAB is now offering a $5000 reward for information about who put the stickers on the bears.
Their Statement regarding the reward.
Bears are NOT Billboards! Second black bear in Asheville, NC confirmed with a political sticker on tracking collar.
HAB is offering a $5,000 reward for information on the person(s) responsible for putting this political sticker on this beautiful bear who has already been trapped, tranquilized, and collared unnecessarily. This bear must wear this burdensome collar (now with a sticker) and bolts in its ears for worthless data.
They also have a few choice words about the Character of whoever is responsible.
Whoever put these political stickers on these bears is cruel and heartless. HAB and our followers hope to stop and expose you. This is now the second bear this happened to, which can only mean either someone in the study is doing this or it is someone in the public.
While I agree that political messaging on wildlife is problematic, the insistence that a pro-Trump sticker amounts to cruelty towards the bear is crazy. Believe it or not, bears are non-political.
Bears do not support any political party. Believe me, the bear does not care if it is a pro-Trump sticker, a pro-Biden sticker, or for that matter, any sticker whatsoever to claim otherwise is insane and illogical.