1129 Encroachment

Adria and Shiloh talk about how animals and humans must live side-by-side.


Adria: So you said you're kind of a wilderness boy. What are your thoughts on encroachment? Is it a problem where you live?

Shiloh: Yeah, I live up in the mountains, Adria. My home is above 3,000 meters, so I live at a very high altitude. It's--I live in the Rocky Mountains, so it's very rugged. There aren't very many people. There's still tons of animals. And wild animal encroachment is a big problem, especially in my area of the Rocky Mountains, because we have many black bears. Black bears aren't as dangerous as brown bears, like there are at north. They're not aggressive, but they're a huge nuisance, and they cause a lot of damage.

For instance, I've spent a lot of time in a cabin up in the mountains. This particular cabin has been broken into by bears. Last year, in about six months, we had four different bears come in through the cabin, and they'll knock down the front door, they'll destroy the inside of the house. The refrigerator's knocked over, food everywhere. They'll break through windows. They stink; they go to the bathroom. It's a terrible mess that I had to clean up, and I had to do this.

And it's interesting because in these situations, we didn't do anything to attract the bear. We live in a very rural area. There's nobody around for kilometers. This was up, you know, remote cabin. There's no reason for the bear to be there, other than curiosity. There was no food in the cabin at the time. I think that bears' encroaching on civilian, on more urban populations, is becoming increasingly a problem, partly because they're losing their territory. People are encroaching--people are actually encroaching upon the bears. The bears aren't encroaching upon the people. It's the other way around. And we have to expect that they are going to be curious and be hungry, because they have no food. So we can't really blame them when it happens. But we have to figure out a way to fix it, because it is a problem and people still do get hurt, especially with mountain lions, which is a big deal.

Adria: So, have you had any personal experience, or anybody you know that's been like physically harmed by one of these animals?

Shiloh: Well, mountain lions, not, no, because although we have a lot of mountain lions, they are cats and you never see them. They kill a lot of animals. Mountain lions, especially, will kill a lot of sheep and baby calves, which we have many where I live, so in that sense, it's a problem. They cause a lot of monetary damage, because a cow costs $500, and they're killing cows. But as far as people go, cats don't really hurt people.

Bears, on the other hand, do. Up in the northern states of United States, brown bears are very dangerous. They're aggressive. They'll actually come after humans. Where I live, we have brown bears, and they're a little less aggressive. But I still am familiar with one of my friends (he's not really a friend but an acquaintance) who was camping, and it was partly his mistake because he had food inside his tent with him, instead of like in an ice chest outside close. The bear came through the tent and, while trying to grab the food, accidentally grabbed my friend's arm, and he had a huge gash on his arm. He had to have two surgeries to fix it, lots of stitches. It was a mess.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson


It's very rugged.

High rugged mountains are very difficult to travel over. Notice the following:

  1. The rugged mountains made travel slow and dangerous.
  2. The Himalayas is home to the world's most rugged mountains.

huge nuisance

Black bears are a huge nuisance.

Someone or something that is a nuisance makes us a little angry. Notice the following:

  1. Traffic jams are a huge nuisance.
  2. Mosquitoes are a huge nuisance in the summer.


Bears encroaching on civilians is a problem.

Here, to encroach means to slowly take away someone's land or ability to live there as they have in the past. Notice the following:

  1. Encroachment is a growing problem in the jungles of Indonesia.
  2. India's wild tiger population has seriously decreased due to encroachment.

the other way around

It's the other way around.

We use the phrase 'the other way around' to show that the opposite is true. Notice the following:

  1. I didn't hit him first; it's the other way around.
  2. Actually, she's not shy. It's the other way around.


My friend had a gash.

A gash is a serious wound. Notice the following:

  1. He has a small gash on his forehead, but he'll be OK.
  2. The doctor quickly closed the gash.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
rugged • nuisance • encroach
other way around • gash
  1. We were exhausted from climbing up the mountain.
  2. Wild animals don't encroach on us; it's actually the .
  3. The new government hospital did on private property.
  4. Potholes are a huge for drivers.
  5. I panicked as soon as I saw the on his forehead bleeding.