Casey Hathaway, age 3, was lost for three days in the woods of Craven County, North Carolina before police found him alive and well. He had survived pouring rain and near-freezing temperatures. According to Hathaway, a bear looked after him in the forest.
"He made a comment about having a friend while he was in the woods -- his friend was a bear," Maj. David McFadyen of the Craven County Sheriff's Office told CNN. "In the emergency room he started talking about what happened in the woods and he said he had a friend that was a bear with him while he was in the woods."
It is true that there are bears in those woods.
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I've always felt a spiritual connection with grizzly bears. They're slow, chunky and have an overwhelming affection for peanut butter--just like I do. From time to time, I'm fortunate enough to spot one, or at least the signs of one's passing, while we're in Alberta. But, as they generally don't want anything to do with people, being able to spend a prolonged amount of time with one is an incredible treat.
It's a treat that I had the opportunity to partake in earlier today.
Around 30 minutes outside of Bozeman, Montana, we saw the first sign for it: Montana Grizzly Encounter. I wasn't into it at first: captive bears aren't cool. I checked out their website as we drove. Rescue bears. Rescue bears are very cool. Five minutes later we were pulling into the Montana Grizzly Encounter. Sixteen bucks for two adults and a score of steps later, we were in.
MGE was founded in 2004 and has been giving homes to bears rescued from cruel captivity ever since. Five of the six bears that MGE shelters were rescued from inhumane situations from all across the United States. Their sixth bear, Bella, was an orphan discovered in Alaska. On her own, she wouldn't have stood a chance. At the sanctuary, she's living the best life that she possibly can. You won't find any bars or cages at MGE. The bears have a temperature controlled enclosure that they can enter or exit as they please. There's a large area for the bears to do bear things in outside of the public eye. Read the rest
I mean, it looks like an elk to me, but it could be a deer, too. In any event, I don't think I've ever felt as strong about leftovers as these two beasts do. I'm not advocating that anyone go out and take a bite out of a chunk of festering roadkill, but it does make you think. Read the rest
In the midst of yet another shitty news cycle, it's nice to hear that great things can still happen.
Earlier this year, the state of Wyoming said "yeah" to allowing a maximum of 22 grizzly bears, once sheltered as a protected species, to be hunted. Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Dana Christensen said "nah" to hunters gearing up to shoot at grizzly bears that call the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem home.
In his order, Christensen made clear that the case “is not about the ethics of hunting, and it is not about solving human- or livestock-grizzly conflicts as a practical philosophical manner.”
Instead, the case was about whether the decision to de-list this segment of the Lower 48 grizzly population was scientifically sound. (Grizzly bears as a whole still enjoy endangered species protections across the Lower 48.) Christensen felt that it wasn’t, writing that FWS “failed to consider how reduced protections in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem would impact the other grizzly populations.”
The ruling drew heavily on a case the federal agency lost last year, when its decision to de-list Western Great Lakes region gray wolves was vacated in court for failing to consider species-wide impacts.
In the United States, there's only around 1,800 grizzly bears roaming Montana, Wyoming, Washington, Idaho and Montana. That's far from what I or any ecologist (of which I am not) would call a recovered species. Earther points out that while the Yellowstone grizzly population has rebounded in recent years, it's still isolated from other populations. Read the rest
Look, if a bear can figure out how to open the door of a minivan and get her cubs seated for a ride, I don't think it's too much to ask that she be able to take those kids of hers on a cross-country roadtrip to Disneyland. Hand over the keys. Read the rest
Renowned environmentalist and chimpanzee buddy Jane Goodall has her fingers crossed: she’s entered the lottery to win the right to kill a grizzly bear in the area of Yellowstone Park. That Wyoming’s allowing the bears to be hunted is a big deal. There’s been a moratorium on taking down a grizzly bear in Wyoming for the past 44 years. This year, the state is allowing 22 of them to be killed by hunters.
But, instead of taking down a furry behemoth so that she might eat its steaming heart to celebrate her kill, Goodall, and a growing number of other people, have a better idea of what to do if they win the right to shoot a grizzly: they’re advocating that folks take that shot with a camera instead of a gun.
Shoot ‘em With A Camera is a guerrilla campaign to undermine Wyoming’s bear hunt lottery system. The premise is simple: Apply to the bear hunt lottery for your chance to kill a magnificent creature. Then, should you win, instead of heading to the hills with a rifle, you head out with a camera. It’s a cheeky campaign and according to National Geographic, its gaining momentum, quickly.
Not everyone, however is thrilled about it.
From National Geographic:
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Brian Nesvik, chief game warden with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, is not so enamored. He acknowledged he was surprised at how fast the campaign mobilized, heightening a level of drama that was already unprecedented given that it involves the wildlife symbol of the Yellowstone region.
This bear smartly checked out a couple cops suspiciously loitering in their car on the side of the road. Reportedly the officers were just eating their lunch. This time.
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Less musically inclined than the average bear? Read the rest
David Roseman, an employee at Alaska's Wood Tikchick State Park, spotted this big bear carrying her cubs across the river on her back. Sweet video below. From National Geographic:
Wayne Kasworm, a grizzly bear biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, explained that bears' high fat content and oily coat helps them easily stay afloat. The bears, which he estimates to be about six months old, will likely start to swim on their own once they reach 30 pounds.
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Michael Bond, 91, died after a short illness at his home in Britain, reports his publisher Harper Collins. He was the creator of
Peruvian immigrant Paddington Bear, beloved the world over in books, television and movies. Bond was described as "kindly, dignified and charming" by friend and fan Stephen Fry, traits to be found in abundance throughout an artistic life detailed in the BBC's obituary:
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The seeds of the idea had taken root during the war when Bond saw newsreels of children being sent out from British cities to avoid German bombing. "I had memories of children being evacuated from London with a label around their necks and all their possessions in a suitcase, and this became part of Paddington as well," he said.
"Paddington Bear was a refugee with a label - 'Please look after this bear. Thank you', and he had a little suitcase."
They've been on the Endangered Species list for 42 years. Today, Trump removed the Yellowstone grizzly bear's federal protections under the Endangered Species Act. The reason? A reported population rebound. The U.S. Department of Interior announced their plan to strip the grizzly's protections and return species oversight to the states.
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A person in Virginia devised a strange-but-effective method to discourage bears from rummaging in the garbage cans. I'm sure the bears will have their revenge.
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Below, a young grizzly bear plays with two GoPro cameras mounted on a pontoon floating in the clear water of the Knight Inlet on the British Columbia Coast.
"The idea was to film bears diving for fish in 2-meter deep pools," wrote Newsflare member kitchinsink, who uploaded the video. "If I was in the pool they wouldn't come and dive so I needed a camera that would float 'inconspicuously!'"
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A group of Russian scientists have been trapped for two weeks by polar bears at an Arctic island weather station. The scientists face a month-long wait for a rescue. Read the rest
I like the way every time the mother moose turns around, the bear pretends to be paying attention to something else. Read the rest
Explore.org has a very relaxing live feed of bears feeding on salmon at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park, Alaska. At night, they run a highlight reel. Great for having on as you work. Read the rest