Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Born to be wild

Today I had lunch with my mother-in-law, and we had a great time! We went to a place called Mazatlan (a restaurant, not the city, har har), and both agreed that it was excellent. For anyone who lives in our area, I recommend it highly--the food is about ten times better than Hacienda (the sort of "generic" Mexican chain around here) and much more reasonably priced. We had some good laughs, but some serious conversation, too. She is very proud of her son, and I know she's happy that he's finally happy. We had a very nice time. Whew, I'm not used to eating that much for lunch, though...I was very close to taking a nap, but I've gotten my second wind.

Jamie, I think the other place you were talking about is Fiesta Tapatia. I had seen commercials for it, but couldn't remember the name, but saw it on the way to Mazatlan--it's just east of there, on McKinley. We'll have to try that one, too.

So I'm behind on blogs, but I'll catch up!

Bears Did anyone catch the show on ABC last night about the Alaskan bear guy? His name is Charlie, and he has 40 acres in Alaska. He's what you could call a Bear Whisperer, and started making friends with all these bears that came into his yard. Black bears and grizzlies...he started feeding them (which is illegal to do unless you are hunting them), and became very friendly with them. He would play with them, lay down by them, let them snatch fig newtons out of his mouth...the guy was obviously more than just a little eccentric. It was kind of neat to see these huge bears play with him, but it also made me very uneasy.

They talked to a biologist about this, and he said that what Charlie was doing was wrong. These are wild animals, and should not be made to have no fear of human beings. (I was recently in a discussion with someone about wolves not fearing humans, so it reminded me of that.) He was also essentially training them to do tricks (grabbing the cookie out of his mouth, for example), and the biologist felt there was a certain circus element to the whole thing. He said that it was inevitable that someone would get hurt, and felt that the state would eventually put an end to this. He was right on both counts.

A cameraman filming for a documentary about this got a deep slash on his ankle when he got between a bear and her cub. The state of Alaska soon began working towards stopping this, and Charlie had to put up a fence and stop feeding the bears. You could tell that it broke his heart, but he did seem to realize that it was for the best. The program ended by saying that Charlie is facing several counts against him, even though he's stopped feeding the bears and stopped letting them come up to (and into) his house.

Polar bear Personally, I hope they drop the charges and let the guy be. He's stopped doing it, he's 70 years old...just let it drop. However, I believe that what he was doing was wrong. There is a reason that any state or national park you drive through has signs erected to NOT feed the bears, but you always see some dumbass in the Smokies with a bag of freakin' marshmallows. These are wild animals, and they can kill you. (Especially grizzlies...the program said that grizzlies are known for decapitating their victims. Yikes.) If people feed them, they become emboldened, and will be less wary of coming into an area where humans are. That's when people get hurt, and you know what happens when people get hurt by a wild animal? They kill the animal.

It's just a bad idea all the way around. You know that I've spoken about how cute our raccoons and Groundy (our groundhog) are, and how sometimes I feel like I could reach out and scratch the raccoons on the head. The young ones will come right up to the sliding glass door and look in at me, raise up on their back legs and wave their little arms around in the air...oh my God, they are so cute! I'll usually indulge myself a little when they're younger, and try to get closeup pictures of them, but I try to make sure that they know the boundaries and know that if they come up here, they're apt to get popped with the BB gun. I guess I feel that it's best to try to keep a line drawn between us. Groundy may make her home under the deck walkway, and the raccoons may like to come over and look in our windows, but I'm not inviting them into the house. I suspect Sheeba would have something to say about that! (Imagine a black cat with his back arched, tail all bushed out.)

I'm of the "let the wild things be" school.


  1. It was an interesting show, gets points for the cute factor, but all in all, a really bad idea. It is bad enough we feed the "stupid" birds :o)

  2. That is how Gorillas in Africa become bushmeat more easily. In certain areas they get too habituated with all the research workers, tourists, etc., & hunters can get that much closer, that much easier. To say nothing of the fact that research is highly compromised by all the "researchers" feeding, naming & befriending them.

    As for Charlie, my Father once said, "Bears don't like stupid." I'm with Dad.

  3. Do you know what Sarah Palin had to say about all this? Did this happen during her term as governor or after she wimped out?

  4. I'm in agreement with you. Of course natives believe in living in harmony with nature. There however is a huge difference between harmony and changing the natural course of an animals life by befriending them.

    I get a sense of forebearing whenever I see a wild animal so accustomed to humans. There is nothing natural about it, cute, or even safe. I worry more about the danger to the animals than the ignorant humans.

    Speaking of which we have our own residential woodchuck. Amazingly the outdoor cats hang out with him. Stranger than strange. But its NOT human interaction. (Hugs)Indigo

  5. raccoons are actually kind of dangerous. My DH learned that from where he works. That dude with the bears is lucky he was not killed. I am glad you got to go and have a good lunch with your MIL. :)

  6. i'm tired- misread bear whisperer as 'beer whisperer' and i got all excited to get some alaskan beer!

    i tend not to try to pet anything bigger than me, and save my catch/release program for amphibians and reptiles.

    glad y'all finally got your lunch!


  7. Your lunch with your mother-in-law sounds delightful!

    I had a similar reaction to a program that I watched a couple of weeks ago about a guy who was interacting with African lions--sleeping, cavorting, and eating with them.

    There is an old folk tale about a scorpion who asks a turtle to ferry him across a stream. The scorpion promises not to bite the turtle, but mid-stream the scorpion bites the turtle on the neck. As the turtle is dying he asks, "Why?" The scorpion, as he is drowning replies, "It's in my nature."

  8. It's irresponsible and dangerous for humans to feed and befriend wild animals for the reasons you and others have given. Shark attacks have increased in certain areas because of people who dive in those cages. People get killed and so do the animals. Effective story, Sheria.

  9. Lovely food ....go again.

    I heard from a doc that cats cannot be tamed, they will always be wild.

  10. I'm glad you had such a nice lunch with Ken's mom. She must love having you as a DIL :-)

    Mazatlan sounds yummers! Can we go get a margarita when I'm out for Thanksgiving?

  11. The stuff about bears reminds me of a documentary-style movie we saw at ND a few years ago about some guy who moved to Alaska to live with bears. He felt he really connected with the animals and spent lots of time documenting it with a video camera. He certainly had many 'issues' in his life, including a small dose of mental illness. To make a long story short, the movie was very interesting, but in the end, he (and another person) were both killed by bears who he had grown to trust.

  12. Your lunch sounds great! And, I agree, let the old guy be... he stopped.

    be well...

  13. Love Bears, love Raccoons- lived in the mountains for over twenty years- don't feed them, enjoy them in their enivironment but, remember, you are the trespasser so beware!
    Lunch with Mom sounded great- glad you can enjoy her company!

  14. It's nice to hear you had such a good conversation & lunch with MIL. No bad MIL jokes for her. :)

    I agree with you 100% about letting wild be wild. I saw that man on another show - I am saddened to hear they shut him down & may be filing charges.

  15. I watched that show! (I'm excited because I rarely if ever watch tv and for once I did and for once someone mentioned a show I watched on their blog. I'm simple to entertain)

    Anyway ~ Although it was fascinating to watch and kept me in awe a lot, the whole time I had a very uneasy feeling in my stomach. His love for those bears was very real, but in the same sentence, he had put every one of those bears in serious jeopardy. It's sad he took it to the level of feeding them and basically inviting them into his home. Remember when a bunch of bears woke him up in the middle of the night because they were hungry? Imagine them doing that to a tent of a sleeping family~ Not good.

    Anyway, considering his age, his eccentric ways, etc...I do wish they would lighten up on the charges.

  16. Yes, it was Fiesta. Very good food there. Nachos are fierce.


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