Letter to the editor: Stories of funny bear behavior from times gone by
I’m with the bears. They were here first.
And they’re interesting: As a canoe guide at Camp Minogyn on the Gunflint Trail in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters, I sit up one morning to look out the window at a bear looking in. I never was very handsome, so I guess I scared the guy. He runs to the rim of the nearby garbage pit (everyone had them).
This caught the attention of the camp director’s chow dog, who started barking and chasing the bear. The chase continued with the huge bear ambling around the pit, and the mad dog not far behind. Then the bear starts to slow down. I could almost see him thinking: Why am I, a big black wild bear, running for a lap dog?
Finally, the bear turns around and starts chasing the dog around that pit. Funny
A funnier sight was at the bear pit near the lodge at Yosemite in 1994. Don Gipe from Iowa and I heard about the bear pit so ambled over just as the garbage trucks arrived.
A big tan and silver bear caught my eye. He wasn’t heading for the garbage; he was climbing atop a huge boulder that lay between the tourists and the garbage pit. Once on top, he lies down, props his head on his hands with his elbow on the rock and watches the tourists watching the bears.
Wildlife manager Del Piccola said, “Good bear habitat … is getting harder to find.” So what do we do when the snow gets too deep for the deer and elk? We air drop them food. Why can’t we air drop garbage miles from kitchens for the bears when foraging gets tough? And get one of those thingies to hover over the site to take pictures for us?
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