Pesky bear wears out welcome

Wesley "Finnigan" Hamilton, a 67-year-old rancher off Kings Canyon Road, has had an unwanted visitor for the past several days.

The vandal, a black bear which for months has taken advantage of the hospitality offered by the bounty of Hamilton's apple and plum trees, has worn out its welcome by breaking into a feed shed repeatedly, he said.

"He tore off the whole side of it to get into the horse feed we have stored there," Hamilton said Saturday. "I keep boarding it up but he's been here four times now."

Hamilton said he and his step-brother, who lives in a guest house on the 60-acre spread, have contacted authorities, but so far, nothing has been done about the bear or its demolition work.

The men are also concerned about their personal safety since the shed is just across the creek from the houses, he said.

"I'm hoping somebody gets out here and does something because I can't afford this, and I don't want to hurt the bear," Hamilton said.

"I didn't mind when he was helping himself to the apples and plums, but I don't know how much longer I can put up with this," he said.

Asked if he could e-mail a photo of the damage, Hamilton said, "I'm a cowboy, not a computer guy."


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