Bear in mind | In Our Opinion

Yes, we admit it. We got a little excited.

Last week’s news that a black bear had been sighted on Bainbridge Island left us a bit thrilled.

In fact, you could say we could barely contain ourselves.

If you missed last week’s story, it was a little wild. But bear with us; here’s the bear essentials. A black bear was seen by residents in a bunch of different neighborhoods on Bainbridge, prompting local police to warn islanders about being cautious should they have an animal encounter.

As reports continued to come in, the state Department of Fish &Wildlife set a trap for the bear, using donuts for bait.

The big trap, authorities said, was loaded for bear.

Wildlife officials prefer to keep the exact location of the trap a secret, mainly to keep people away in hopes that the bear will find the donuts before police do.

The whole idea of trapping the bear and sending it to some remote wilderness area that’s far, far away has created a bit of a debate on social media, however. Opinions have been divided, but folks have kept the discussion civil, and things haven’t yet gotten unbearable.

To recap, some are saying the bear should be left alone to roam, maybe to eventually swim back to where it came from, the other side of Agate Pass.

Others have noted that bears really aren’t so rare on Bainbridge, and their visits here occur more often than reported. That may be true, and we shudder to think, because it may be more than one can bear.

Still, having something so wild on Bainbridge is pretty special. We can’t help but root for the bear, and hope he eludes capture.

Sure, he may have swiped a little birdseed here and there, but he’s not a major criminal, and hasn’t left a wide swath of bruin ruin across Bainbridge. And he’s probably only on Bainbridge looking for a quick bite to eat, or a roll of toilet paper to snuggle with, as we often see bears do on television.

Maybe we should adopt the bear as a mascot of sorts for the island, and give him a cute and catchy nickname that could help convince authorities to leave him be (our suggestion: “Colton Bearuss Moore — the original Bearfoot Bandit”).

Or perhaps there’s a lawyer on the island who can take up his cause, and defend his constitutional rights for existing here. Surely, a strong case can be made for his right to bear arms.

In the meantime, let’s hope he’s smarter than the average bear, and doesn’t become tempted by any tasty pastries or pic-a-nic baskets. We’re confident he can find the bare necessities for his survival elsewhere in the woods. Run, Colton, run!