Heavy petting and underage bears

black bear

Firefighters in a community near our home are asking people not to feed beer to a bear that was recently spotted in the village.

Let me repeat: beer to a bear. File this under: things that should just be obvious.

If you have to be told not to give beer to bears, then you shouldn’t have access to beer, sharp objects of any kind, mechanical equipment, or credit for critical thinking skills.


Meanwhile, just in the past few months, in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, a tourist attempted to PET A LION. Emphasis mine in all caps because dude WHY???

A lion has the power to rip a human arm clean off. That is why it is best not to pet them.


Also this summer, a woman was gored by a bison in Yellowstone National Park after she and members of her group got too close to the bison (obviously).

Here is a lesson for us all: If the bison can reach you, you are too close.

This past spring visitors to Fripp Island, South Carolina, harassed and agitated a 12-foot alligator — going so far as to throw carrots at it — repeatedly. The harassment and attempts to engage the alligator became so severe that security guards stood by to protect the alligator from humans.

This just goes to show that as we have always suspected, tourists are just horrible, awful people really.

Selfie preservation

Stalwart in their dedication to protect humans from themselves (and some say thwart the proper course of evolution) the National Park Service has gone so far as to have to warn tourists never to approach a wild animal — not even for a selfie.

It was almost an understandable Public Service Announcement until that last line.

It should be a given that eaten alive on camera is no one’s best look. There is no Snapchat filter to pretty that up, although the bunny nose one looks good on pretty much anything.

Look I’m not one to tell other folks how to live their lives. You do you fam.

Then again we have people running around wading with alligators and hand feeding crocodiles and all I can think is do you need an intervention?

I’m no expert, but it seems like a cry for help. I just don’t get the need to get so darn close to nature. Isn’t it just as enjoyable to admire nature from afar?

Preferably way more than arm’s length — or selfie stick — away?

Granted in researching this column I learned that it is alleged that domesticated dogs kill more people a year than sharks, bears and alligators combined.

I have a Shih Tzu, so I still feel pretty safe overall. Death by Shih Tzu would be akin to being eaten alive by a fuzzy slipper.

It’s probably my solid Midwestern roots that make me a poor candidate for petting lions or offering hors d’oeuvres to alligators.

Ohio is for sissies. I own it. I think we maybe have one species of slightly venomous snake and once in a while, the rare raccoon goes rabid. Otherwise, our greatest hazards are basically deer and orange barrels.

I do my best to steer clear of both. I do understand that we are to believe that lions, tigers and bears, as well as gators and crocs, are more afraid of us than we are of them.

Yeah, OK sure, let’s go with that.


I have been to Florida and it is a beautiful state. I enjoyed the sand and sun as much as the next gal. However, reading all the “rules for not being gator bait” such as not walking here, there or anywhere near bodies of water, not being out around tall grasses and bodies of water at dusk or dawn, be careful with small pets (they act as bait) etc., etc. All I could do was think longingly of home and remind myself that snow can be real pretty sometimes.

Let’s be honest, southerners are always somewhat proud of living among gators. Survival among these prehistoric beasts is a point of pride.

Meanwhile, you don’t hear our friends out west going on about how cougars are totally going to eat women and children, but it’s like part of our charm.

Or maybe you do? I don’t know. I don’t get out west much. They have bears.

Then again, so do we these days and apparently — ours may be drunk.


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Kymberly Foster Seabolt lives in rural Appalachia with the always popular Mr. Wonderful, two small dogs, one large cat, two wandering goats, and a growing extended family.



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