Today, to celebrate my birthday, Christopher Robin arranged a surprise: he took me to the zoo for a “Grizzly Bear Encounter.” We went behind the scenes, into the back rooms, and even into the enclosure to learn more about grizzlies.
The best part was feeding a grizzly bear through a grate, looking at his giant head and incredible paws and realizing they’re like dogs, kind of. Savage dogs. Dogs that weigh 600 pounds, but definitely dog-like in aspect and attitudes. They’re curious. They’re smart. They’re not particularly friendly if they don’t feel like it and they will definitely kill you for food if they are hungry, but for some reason, looking into those giant faces made me GET it on some deep level.
I also realized it is completely silly NOT to carry bear spray when I hike in the deep woods by myself. The trainers told me that. And they never, ever go into the enclosures with the bears. That says something, don’t you think?
It’s equally silly to demonize wildlife and make it into something Disney-esque. I can be at peace with bears if I know and understand what they are. Can we have a cheer for CR for understanding that and giving me such a cool birthday present? For a YouTube video, check this out: