This week, we published an article that included a video of a bear grabbing a hold of a deer on the side of the road in Yosemite National Park. The bear had a firm grasp on the big buck, and from my guess-timation, he most likely became that bear’s dinner.
We decided to embed the video in an article on our website, because sharing directly to our social media pages might be too shocking for our viewers. If you haven’t seen the video, and would like to, go here. If not, keep scrolling
Of course, people were still upset with us and the comment section blew up with many comments like these:
“I was hoping to see an apology from the person responsible for this video. Nope. You had a great page and I really enjoyed reading about the great places I could go to here in the northstate but I am unfollowing your page.“
“So unnecessary to post – yes it is nature but that isn’t a reason to post the horrible suffering of a living creature. Frankly, you owe your followers an apology.”
“Why would you want to post this? I realize it’s “nature” but do you really think this is the best way to represent NorCal? Your videos are getting more and more unacceptable. I’m out.“
“Done with Active NorCal. Done. Posting this served no higher purpose. None. Shame on you.“
Now, I understand people wouldn’t want to see this video. It certainly isn’t for everyone and in understanding that, we put it behind a clickable (or a you-don’t-have-to-click-on-it) link that interested people can watch. It might have been the veracity of the headline that upset people, and you can blame that squarely on me.
But as the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Active NorCal, I stand by this article.
In terms of the video, I think it’s pretty cool, but I’m also the person that incessantly watches Planet Earth videos of wolves surrounding bison and devouring the weakest of the herd. I know I’m different, so that brings me to my main point:
This is nature. And nature isn’t as pretty as you might think. Last week, we shared an article about the beautiful Kokanee salmon run of Tahoe’s Taylor Creek and how bears were flocking to the area to get their giant paws on some fresh salmon before hibernation. Many photos and videos were included in that article, showing bears devouring live salmon. People praised it as a beautiful representation of the circle of life, and a great way for the growing population of Tahoe bears to get a bite to eat without digging into trash cans and breaking into homes.
How are these articles any different? They’re both showing a carnivore eating a live animal in the wild. We constantly talk about keeping bears out of human food – whether that be trash cans, homes or campgrounds – but get upset when they actually eat their typical, wild meal?
We also recently shared an article about a humpback whale getting washed ashore on a Humboldt beach after it was tangled in fishing line. Where’s the outrage there? Isn’t the wasted life of a beautiful animal much worse than one feeding in nature?
I get it – you probably follow us to see beautiful photos of Northern California (we share a lot of them) – and you don’t want those type of articles/videos getting in the way. Guess what? Many times, the photos we share are edited heavily, showing a NorCal destinations in a better light than what you may see in person. Not always, but sometimes.
You know what you may see in person when going into the wilderness of NorCal? Animals eating each other. A bat eating a mosquito. An otter eating a trout. A bear eating a deer. That’s the true NorCal, and for showing that to our audience, we will not apologize.
As always, thanks for following Active NorCal and we look forward to many years showing you the true greatness of Northern California!
Zach O’Brien is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Active NorCal