Dogs bred to protect bears by keeping them away from homes

Illustrative photo

In the United States, as in many other countries, polar bears, black bears and grizzly bears come close to homes and public facilities, posing a danger to both sides. So we thought about a non-lethal solution to avoid accidents, without harming these animals. One of them, and which has given complete satisfaction so far, is the use of specially trained dogs.

As National Geographic reminds us, the sea ice is receding more and more and the territories in which bears live tend to be eaten away by humans. Little by little, the plantigrades, driven by hunger, find themselves wandering around the houses in search of food in the trash cans. A problematic situation that can be observed in several countries, in particular Russia, Canada and the United States.

It is precisely in North America that an alternative to the killing of bears – long authorized in some states and banned in others – has been in place for twenty years. Biologist and bear specialist, Carrie Hunt founded the Wind River Bear Institute in 1996. Based in Florence , Montana, this organization breeds Karelian bear dogs for the purpose of training them specifically to scare ursids .

The Karelian bear dog breed originated in the region of the same name between Finland and Russia. Spitz type, this canine was bred for big game hunting in the past. Today, Carrie Hunt’s team trains her to “chase” bears by running after them and barking , without harming them . For years, Karelian bear dogs have been used in the polar or mountainous regions of the United States, Canada and Japan to deter plantigrades from approaching inhabited areas, thus avoiding the use of handguns. fire and therefore kill these precious animals.

The carriers of this program ensure, moreover, that priority is given to the safety of dogs . According to them, no canine has been injured since the launch of this initiative.

Read also: By adopting a senior dog, this 96-year-old woman is mobilizing to give senior dogs a chance

Karelian bear dogs don’t just keep bears at bay. They are also employed to help elucidate poaching cases . They have indeed repeatedly managed to track investigators to evidence incriminating individuals who have slaughtered protected wildlife, including gray wolves and elk . Most often they sniffed the remains of the corpses of these beasts or their smells from poachers. </p

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