Kill the euphen-asia; dead bears are dead bears


Now I’ve long been a proponent of putting down people and other animals to end suffering that’s going nowhere but worse.

A panicked animal in agony especially calls for a quick end to misery. In that sense, the word “euthanasia” was re-born. We called it mercy killing before we could pronounce words with so many syllables.

Suddenly, it’s a verb that essentially means we’re going to put some animal out of our misery, not theirs.

This AP story below is a perfect example of how bad English and bad public policy make for tragic endings in the animal kingdom. A bear wandered into Colorado Springs earlier this year for a snack out of the trash. He was pumped full of downers and sent 50 miles away for a fresh start. Well, this week, Yogi returned for more snacks and was rewarded with the business end of a shotgun for his trouble.That would be the trouble he causes humans, not himself.

While the practice of killing insistent bears is debatable, the term used to whack ’em is not. The bear was not “euthanized” in any sense of the word. There was no “good death” like the Greeks dreamed of, where you die in your sleep, bathed, with a belly full of grilled octopus in lemon sauce, the best wine and after just completing the sex act of a lifetime.

Nor was Yogi suffering any. He was just hungry for whatever leftover Chipotle, Wendy’s or McD’s he could rustle up out of a Dumpster. Well, probably not McDs.

So the cops shot him. No mercy here. No euthanasia here. We need a new verb that covers killing unwanted dogs, kitties, bears and other varmints that nobody wants to deal with. Given the way we handle our own, I suggest “caucusing” or maybe “health-insurancing.”

Of course there’s always “kill.”


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Bear euthanized after return to Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A bear that was deemed a nuisance after wandering into Colorado Springs too many times has been euthanized.

The Gazette reports  the 3-year-old male bear first wandered into the city two weeks ago. Wildlife officers relocated it about 50 miles west of Rampart Reservoir, but the bear was spotted back in the city Thursday morning.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has a two-strike policy for bears, meaning the animals can be put down if they return to an area where they might come in conflict with humans.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton says the bear showed an affinity for human trash and food and was euthanized.


Information from: The Gazette,