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A fellow Kentucky bear

By Michael J. Smith on Tuesday June 29, 2010 10:44 PM

An old pal of mine from my home state just sent me this wonderful item:

A black bear remained on the loose Tuesday despite traps set after the animal mauled a hiker in the Daniel Boone National Forest, the first recorded bear attack on a human in Kentucky.

State tourism spokeswoman Barbara Atwood said wildlife officers haven't been able to find the animal that attacked, bit and shook Tim Scott of Springfield on Sunday in a remote area known as the Red River Gorge, near Stanton in eastern Kentucky.

"They had a bear sighting yesterday. However, they could not confirm that it was the bear in question," Atwood said. "But they feel confident the bear is still in the area."

... Considering that no bears have been seen boarding planes in Frankfort. -- No, IOZ, not that kind of bears.
Scott said he was hiking in the Red River Gorge Geological Area... when he spotted the bear about 25 feet away. He ... took a few photos with his cell phone until the bear disappeared under a ledge. Scott said he was about to call his wife to tell her to take another trail when the bear reappeared.
"Geological area"? What has happened to my home state? I thought the whole crazy place was a geological area, as indeed is every place.

But I digress. This is the point in the story where I really started rooting for the bear. The poor animal is clearly as fed up with cell phones as I am, and he just snapped.

Wildlife Division Director Karen Waldrop said the agency's policy is to kill any bear that behaves aggressively toward humans, and officials have closed the popular scenic area and set traps to try to capture the animal.

Atwood said the closure also will help keep the bear from being scared out of the area.

So they won't let any bears out, or any people in, until Order Has Been Restored. The last thing the Kentucky Wildlife Division wants to see on its patch is... wildlife. Perhaps they will soon be seeding the woods with animatronic bears, guaranteed not to bite anybody.

Kentucky in my salad days was not such a sissy place. If I had gone out in the woods and been bitten by a bear, I would have been soundly beaten when I dragged my sorry bloody ass back home. "What the hell did you go annoyin' a bear for, you pore born fool?" my elders and betters, my pastors and masters, would have said. And they would have been right.

Scott himself doesn't sound like such a bad egg, even allowing for the cell phone, and he strikes an amiable and very Kentucky note in his closing quote:

"I was chomped on by a bear, and he was a bad bear, but that doesn't speak of all bears," he said.
It would be hard to improve on this, from a literary point of view, but I have to disagree about the "bad bear" part. I think the bear was an exceptionally good bear, and ought to get the Ursine Medal Of Honor.

Comments (4)

Al Schumann:

Black bears are generally not aggressive. The ones that become used to humans (through feeding, for example) can be pushy, but they're still not a serious threat. Unless, of course, you act like an asshole and shove a cell phone in their face.

"Yoo hoo! Oh, bear? It's for you! Ha, ha, ha!"


"Oh, god, nooooo! Ow! Stop that!"


Al Schumann:

I notice all the Sasquatch molesters are eating a corporate meat-like product. It sends a message to the children, hopefully.


Blogfather, you are 100% correct. That is a good bear.

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