Written by Maryanne Galvin
Once again, the Cape Cod Bear drew an enthusiastic audience in Rhode Island at the 16th Pawtucket Film Festival on October 3, 2015. Lively Q&A followed the screening of Rewilding America: Lessons Learned from the Cape Cod Bear. Several people recounted their personal experiences with bears, while hiking or in their own backyards. It was fun to be part of the exchange between viewers who shared their range of reactions–from fascination to fear and everything in between–to those first encounters with a bear. Discussion turned to the national and international (Canada/Mexico) efforts to educate the public about bears and minimize the conflicts between humans and bears. Often these conflicts result in bears being killed or relocated. As the experts featured in the film emphasized, it is true that bear conflicts can often be avoided with a combination of specific tools and public outreach.