Where the Wild Things Are
Height: 2-3 feet at shoulders
Length: 4-7 feet from nose to tip of tail
Weight: Males weigh an average of 150-300 lbs. Have been known to weigh from 500-600 lbs.; females are smaller
Lifespan: Can live 20-25 years in the wild, although there is increased mortality around 10 years of age..."
Wanted some information about the American black bear, so I did some reading at the Defenders of Wildlife page. For more info, click here.
Why, you ask, did I do reading on the American black bear?
Well, dear readers, the Farm has a returning visitor who likes to climb into our dumpster and pull bags of garbage out and into the woods. Yes, it is a black bear.
The bear has been spotted by various farmers and after repeatedly hearing about these sightings, I was 'a wishing and 'a hoping and a praying' that I could see the bear too. I got my wish a week and a half ago.
I was taking my houses' trash to the dumpster, had gotten out of the car and was walking to my trunk to get the bag out when my friends shouted, "BEAR!!" And let me tell you what, I have NEVER run with an intensity and a fear like I know I did then.
I ran about 30 yards from my car before I was able to get ahold of myself and think clearly. The first thought into my head was, "If I run it will chase me. Stand still." So, I slowly turned around. Seeing nothing I decided to play "brave" and get the stinky bag of trash out of my car (after getting my friends to stand a little closer to me), opened the dumpster and threw the bag in and as the lid slammed shut, the bear, WHO WAS HIDING BEHIND THE DUMPSTER!! turned tail and ran into the woods.
And I ran in the opposite direction!
I did not get a clear view of the bear that time, so we (by this time we had been joined by a handful of farmers, including farm children) walked around to the trail--that went into the woods near where the bear ran in--and were able to see the bear's ass as it marched away--trashless.
Yep. I saw the bear's ass.
My experience left me wondering if this was the same bear that I had seen outside of one of the cabins summer 2006...? Especially after reading the facts about how long bears can live. The experience also left me marveling these majestic creatures. While my first instinct was fear (followed by my second instinct, which was curiosity), I knew that the bear was relatively harmless. Harmless in the sense that like the age old adage my parents used to use, "that bear is probably more afraid of you than you are of it!" And that seemed true. It was him running into the woods in fear when he heard the dumpster close. The wildlife around here seem to have little more than a slight curiosity about their human neighbors and really just want to be left alone.
But living the National Geographic-esque life didn't stop there. The next morning on our way to the airport TSO, CJ and I spotted another bear crossing the street in front of my car. Then on the way home from the airport I spotted a porcupine and a red fox. I feel like I am living in an Animal Planet special some days. My life is so great.