May 16, 2011

The Balding Bear

I saw a couple of very healthy bears on my drive to Beaver Creek. They ran into the trees at great speed as my car approached, with their fat and fur rippling as they ran. Then there was this guy.

He wasn't going anywhere. He just stood there, looking at me and my car. Fortunately, I have a good zoom and didn't need to leave my vehicle or get anywhere near him. (It's frightening how many Alaska Highway tourists get out of their vehicles and think they can pet the animals.)

Once, I found myself mere feet from a bear (not intentionally). The bear was feasting on berries and gave me a look that could clearly be interpreted as "Oh, hello. These certainly are delicious berries. Sorry, I can't chat; berries to eat and whatnot. My, these certainly are nice berries."

And I once drove past a bear that was feasting on a freshly road-killed bison. The look of pure pleasure on satisfaction on its face could clearly be interpreted as "Dude! This is awesome! Nom nom nom! Look at all these guts! Sweeeeet! And all this meat was just lying here! Can you believe it? Best. Day. EVER!!!"

I can confirm that it is possible for a bear to have a silly, happy grin of pure pleasure.

For this skinny bear, though, with its balding head and shining eyes and total disinterest in leaving the road, I wasn't sure what to think. One moment he seemed like the most piteous bear ever and the next...

When he stepped tentatively toward my car, I floored it.

Beware of balding bears.


Opa said...

Bet he thought, "hmm, canned meat. Is it worth the trouble to open the can?"

Nemmy said...

Hahahaha... love it. That tops any smart-ass comment I was gonna make...