Monday Reads: The Bear vs. Zucchini Edition

"Bear also drinks from fishbowl"

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Bears, you’ve had it tough this past year.

Out in Yellowstone, the grizzly members of the family are being thwarted by voracious mountain pine beetles, who are depriving the bears of one of their key food sources (fatty and delicious whitebark pine seeds). A year ago, Earthjustice won ESA protections for the bears, but the federal government has appealed the court’s decision. The fight continues.

Meanwhile, in the lush Arctic, oil and gas drilling leases in the Chukchi Sea (key habitat for the threatened polar bear) have been halted for now—but are not yet canceled.

If all that wasn’t bad enough, last month, a black bear in Montana was defeated by a zucchini. Yes, a zucchini.

Minding his own business while enjoying apples from a backyard tree, the bear was distracted by the homeowner’s dogs; it being midnight, the homeowner did not realize a bear was in the vicinity and let her three dogs out according to their usual schedule. When the bear made his presence known and started towards her, the owner unleashed her inner Jason Bourne and reached for the nearest weapon available—a mighty, homegrown zucchini. In a move not recommended that others attempt, she unveiled a spectacular throwing arm and bonked the bear on the head with the squash. The bear wisely decided to move on and is still at large.

And then there’s the New Hampshire black bear who, earlier this summer, was foiled in his plan for taking snacks and companionship to-go, following a home invasion burglary. Entering through an open door, he helped himself to pears and grapes and quenched his thirst in the family goldfish bowl. After inhaling several real live fish in the process, the real live bear left the home with a bag of fake goldfish (i.e., goldfish crackers) and a fake bear (i.e., teddy bear). Both illicit items were discovered discarded on the front lawn. The owner returned in time to save the lone remaining fish, left behind, flopping, on the kitchen counter.

Take heart, bears. In spite of these setbacks, the future is looking good: Earthjustice is on your side. Not only in the Arctic and in Yellowstone, we’re there in Washington State and more to save you from the pollution and destruction of industrial mining operations and the devastation of road construction through your homes.

As for zucchinis, though…you’re on your own there.

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Shirley undertakes sous chef duties on Earthjustice’s website, serving up interactive online features for our advocacy campaign and litigation work.