Ursus Americanus: Return of the Nudge


It is that time of year again; time for the famous Adirondack black bear Yellow-yellow and her pals to give the resident biologist ajada. The nuisance bear telephone calls to his desk at work have begun and the evening’s summary is nothing short of amazing. The calls usually involve a bear hanging around someone’s property and the property owner feels threatened, or wonders if they should feel threatened. Due to budget constraints, Ed cannot go to the site of the problem, rather he tries to work with the bear-bothered citizen on the telephone. He takes the callers through a series of questions related to what might be attracting the bear to the property; bear attractants. After hearing “Nope, we don’t have any of that,” he moves on to, “Do you have your garbage stored outside?” As I’ve noted before, he is a very patient man.
Apparently, the Adirondacks are not the only part of the northeastern United States enjoying a bear renaissance. As the author notes in this very informative article from the Appalachian Trail Conservatory, human/bear encounters along the Appalachian Trail are increasing. New Jersey will hold its first black bear hunt in six years due to large increase in bears in that state. As I read about the Appalachian Trail described as a bruin thoroughfare and marauding bears dragging sleeping campers around in their sleeping bags, I had anthropomorphic images of a couple of 20-something bears yelling “Road Trip!” I have been told it is not a good practice to apply human attributes to animals, but in my book, the Far-Side-inspired image of bears yelling “Sandwiches!” upon seeing campers in sleeping bags deserves an appreciative belly laugh.
Amusing or not, an up close and personal encounter with a bear is not pleasant. If you are planning a trip to the Adirondacks, have a look at these New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) black bear guidelines. Perhaps you can avoid a bad experience and thus still enjoy a chuckle about those silly bears.
Photo courtesy of NY State DEC. Note the attempt to hide the identity of the bear.

1 Comment

  1. Tom

    It would be respectful to refer to our ursine friends by their proper name. By the code, set down by Linnaeus centuries ago, all organisms–animals, plants, fungi protists and bacteria–are referred to by a genus and a species name. Since these names are Latin or "latinized", they are always in italics. Furthermore, only the genus is capitalized. The species epithet is always lower case, even when it's derived from a proper noun. (Botanists held out on this for a century or two, but they eventually lost to the zoologists.)

    So, let's hear it for Ursus americanus (italicized where possible).

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »