Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Interview with the Shelton Bear

On May 14, I was downtown parked along the roadway, when I looked up and saw the bear out my window. The bear had slipped away from the police that were up the road trying to keep an eye on him until the CT DEEP arrived.  This was a great opportunity to ask a few questions. 

The bear appeared outside my car window while I was parked downtown. 

Hey there, bear!  
Oh hey.  I think I slipped the cops.

May I ask a few questions?
Whatever. What's that I smell in your car?

Umm...a breakfast bar wrapper?  So....where did you come from? You seemed to just suddenly appear in Shelton one day.   
I came from the north. I don't know where, I'm a bear. Got any birdseed?

No. Tell me, why did you come out of the forest and start hanging around houses?
It was my mom! One day she was licking my face and all happy, and the next day she was chasing me and growling and snapping. She didn't do it to my sister, just me. It's SO unfair. I kept trying to come back, but she wouldn't let me. And I'm like, 'What do I do?? Where do I go???  I'm just a kid!' Nothing. She just didn't care about me any more. I felt so alone.

So what DID you do? 
I had to start looking for food. Mom used to bring us to the food, but I wasn't really paying attention. I'm just a kid! I didn't know I was supposed to know all of this already! I did remember that in the spring we just ate stuff that was sprouting out of the ground, like lots and lots of SALAD, right? And I found some tolerable herbs and started eating, but suddenly a big daddy-bear started chasing me, and I'm pretty sure he was going to kill me.  I escaped...into another bear's territory.  Long story short, I kept running into more Daddy bear areas and I just had to keep moving before they could catch me. So I just kept going and going.

I'm so sorry. That's seems pretty traumatic.
Right?!  Then one day I was so hungry and tired I could barely walk, and I came upon some human dens, and all around the dens were the most delicious stashes of food imaginable. I used to be too scared, but this time I was just too hungry and I marched right up there.  My favorite were the bird feeders. Delicious! I can't believe my mom never showed me this. She was always scared of humans. 'Don't go out in the day', she would always say, 'they might see you'.  That's moms for you: paranoid. And guess what, when I got close to the human dens, there weren't any Daddy bear markings. Bonus! No attack bears, and lots of food. What's not to like? And there was all kinds of incredible food I found hiding in garbage cans. There were even nice little bowls of pet food left out on the porches. Amazing!

So I'm like a genius, right? None of the adult bears have figured this out, apparently. Sometimes the humans do come out, but they run back into their dens and hide. They're scared of me. Ha! Well, until today, anyways. I don't really know what's going on here. There seem to be a lot more humans than usual. I'm not sure which way to go.

Eating all that cheap bird seed and garbage food, aren't you worried about nutrition? What about all the vitamins bears normally get from eating all those spring greens?
Are you kidding me? BIRDSEED!!

Right. Hey, how did you get that cut? 
I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you. And I can do that. I'm a bear.

I don't believe you would kill me, you seem very sweet.
Shhhh. Do you have any hamburgers?  I keep smelling them on the grill.

No, sorry. 
How about some pet food? Or scraps of bread? Or melon rinds? I love that stuff. Peanut butter?

No. You really should go back to the woods for your own sake. 
I don't want to. I like it here with the humans. There is so much food. And there are some really intense smells coming from kitchens. I'd like to explore that. It's on my bucket list. I'm trying to work up my courage to go inside.

The Route 8 fence near Daybreak Lane provides wildlife with a convenient passageway

(Sigh). Hey, can I ask why you keep going up and down the Route 8 corridor? Were you trying to get across the highway or what? 
I was thinking about it. But the cars were pretty scary. And I kept getting distracted by so much delicious food. Also, there's a really nice wooded travel path along that fence. The cars are close by, but they stay on the road, so I just keep walking along the fence through the woods until I smell something good to eat.

Do you have a name?  No, but I have a unique smell.

Is there anything that bothers you about the houses?
The dogs and cats. I wish the dogs would just shut up with all their stupid barking, but it's really the cats that terrify me.

They are truly frightening. And they can climb trees.

OK, I think the CT DEEP is coming and they are going to take you for a little ride back to the forest.  It's because you're downtown.  It's just not a good situation.   
Wait, what?  No!  I like it here!  Let me think.... a TREE!  I'll climb a TREE! They'll never get me up there. It's my safe place.  See ya! And thanks for the heads up.

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