On Saturday, authorities killed a black bear that made the mistake of getting too close to the adult human playground of Lake Minnetonka.
And people are pissed.
The 250-pound bear was spotted plodding around near Lord Fletcher's Old Lake Lodge just after noon, the Star Tribune reports, as lake-goers soaked in one of the year's most gorgeous weather days. "Several" people called 911 about the bear, which later "entered the volleyball court at Lord Fletcher's," close to where some in attendance were grilling.
This proximity was probably not a coincidence: The bear was later seen digging in a garbage can. It was hungry.
Hennepin County Water Patrol responded to the calls, and the bear was considered a "public safety threat," a distinction apparently made by DNR officials arriving on the scene. Orono police officers were also present.
The authorities lacked a tranquilizer gun; only a real one, with live ammunition, was available. The bear was shot and killed, though it's unclear which responding agency (or agencies) actually pulled the trigger.
Reaction to this incident has been largely negative. Here's just a sampling of comments on stories the Star Tribune and WCCO.
Wow, look how upset they are!
Here are some comments on the recent police shooting of Thurman Blevins in north Minneapolis.
The lesson: Anyone, or anything, can be deemed a "threat" and gunned down in the blink of an eye. When it's a person killed, expect the public to immediately split into two camps, with one defending the authorities' right to end a human life -- especially that one, who must have had it coming.
At least there is, at last, a way for your final moments to be publicly justified, your innocence presumed, and your death almost universally mourned. You just need big paws and fuzzy ears.