Sharks and Bears: Our Summer Future [OPINION]
Southeastern New England is set for a wild summer with the wild creatures on land and sea: sharks in the oceans of Massachusetts and bears in Rhode Island.
Last summer there was a fatal shark attack off the coast of Cape Cod. This week there was a close encounter between a bear and a woman in her car in Narragansett, Rhode Island.
What is to be done to prevent these encounters and the resulting reactions by alarmed people? People have the ability to control these situations, and in most cases, the outcome of the individual encounters.
Some scientists on the Cape have developed an electronic "fence" of sorts and it looks promising. The reason there are now so many great white sharks in the summer off Cape Cod is that there are so many seals in those waters. Sharks eat seals. Before the robust increase in the seals, there were few if any great white sharks off the coast of the Cape.
The electronic fence is designed to annoy the ears of seals and drive them away from the annoying sound. By strategically placing these devices off the beaches of the Cape, the seals will flee and the sharks will follow them. The question of where the seals and the sharks will go will be an important question to answer.
As for the bear in encounter in Rhode Island, it strikes me that the woman in the car could have avoided the whole situation if she had just kept driving. I understand why she was curious to stop and I appreciate the pictures she took of the bear, but she could have prevented this whole event with a simple depression of the gas pedal.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.