Friday, April 24, 2009

Bears in the news

Two bear stories in the news last night, and a third this morning - how could I resist?

Two brown bears named "Nena" and "Katja" escaped from their circus enclosure just before a performance in Kassel, Germany, last weekend. Police responded to sightings of the two bears next to the highway. Nena was shot and killed when she bit an officer on the leg - though according to her owner she was 25 years old and barely had any teeth left. Katja was caught by employees of the Universal Renz Circus and led back to her enclosure.

On Wednesday it was reported that an adult black bear is living in the median of Interstate 5, near Exit 215 in Stanwood, Washington. Fish and Wildlife experts have baited a trap with pickled herring, bacon grease, honey and doughnuts in hopes of relocating the bear - said to have taken up residence in the same median last year - before it wanders into traffic and causes an accident.

Then just yesterday, Ashley Swendsen, 26, was walking on a trail in Colorado Springs, Colorado, when she spotted and walked away from a cinnamon-colored black bear. The bear headed toward her, and began chasing her when she ran. She scrambled up over an embankment, only to be hit - but not hurt - by a car. Division of Wildlife officers attempted to tranquilize the bear, but because it had lost all fear of humans, destroyed it. They did examine the female bear's tracks to make sure they didn't orphan any cubs. Speaking of which, Swendsen herself is 5 months pregnant. The earlier belief in maternal impressions would suppose that she would give birth to a baby with hypertrichosis, like the famous sideshow performer Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy!

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