Non-aggressive bears non-aggressively invading Aspen.

[UPDATE]: Welcome, Instapundit readers.

Today’s “local bears collectively realize that people don’t shoot them on sight anymore” story comes to us from Aspen, Colorado (and via Drudge). They’re up to ten times the usual number of sightings, with a proportionate increase of well-meaning, yet dumb, comments from mystic environmentalists:

“Bears are emblematic of the Aspen community,” said Aspen resident Mark Goodman. “They are wild, beautiful, fabulous creatures that are awesome, yet you keep your distance … the beauty and the fear is what makes it so fascinating.”

Actually, they’re quarter-ton omnivores who fairly quickly work out that those metal cylindrical things usually contain a lot of perfectly edible food, that people keep around a good number of easily-caught animals, and that for some reason it takes a while for humans these days to start shooting off the boom-sticks in response to a black bear taking advantage of the first two points.  Not that I have anything against bears, but romanticizing them is a bad idea.  If for no other reason than because romanticizing them leads to this kind of cognitive dissonance:

Black bears tend to be timid and are generally not aggressive.


In Aspen, three people this summer have been attacked in their own homes, including Maureen Hirsch. A bear came into her house through locked French doors.

I’d love to know what ‘aggressive’ even means in this context. The bear has a switchblade?

Moe Lane

14 thoughts on “Non-aggressive bears non-aggressively invading Aspen.”

  1. Colorado Issue 10 (1992) was a measure was to prohibit the taking of (hunting) black bears. It passed. The bear population has increased with all the expected consequences.

  2. It means that bears bitch-slap smaller, less dominant bears that get between them and their food. If humans act like cringing, less dominant bears, they also get slapped. Unfortunately, we aren’t as durable as bears.

    Bears are also quite willing to take bloody humans as prey, and to eat us. After all, they sometimes eat helpless cubs.

    However, I don’t think it will be a comfort to me that I was killed by a bear acting non-aggressively and quite impersonally. The deadness is what will concern me.

  3. I think Capstick called it the Disney Syndrome: “The animals are our friends, and unless it’s our fault they will not hurt us.”

    Which doesn’t hold up well when said critter decides A: you’re in the way or B: you look tasty and easy to catch.

  4. I think you all underestimate the liberal capacity for hypocrisy. The good liberals won’t shoot bears for damaging their landscaping. No, they’ll pay someone else to do it — but make a sizeable donation to PETA afterwards. There. Feels better already.

  5. As the old Far Side bear (or was it a shark?) ‘toon said, “Humans…mmmmm, soft on the outside, crunchy on the inside.”

  6. TO: Moe Lane, et al.
    RE: ‘Aggressive’ Bears….

    Black bears tend to be timid and are generally not aggressive.


    In Aspen, three people this summer have been attacked in their own homes, including Maureen Hirsch. A bear came into her house through locked French doors.

    I’d love to know what ‘aggressive’ even means in this context. The bear has a switchblade? — Moe Lane

    ….with Switchblades in Home Invasion.

    This sounds like a Gary Larson cartoon.


    [Support your right to arm bears! — dyslexic Second Amendment advocate]

    P.S. I’m not surprised to hear that bear sightings are up. We saw herds of deer in the low country of the Wet Valley yesterday. It looks like all the little long leggedy beasties, and thems that prey upon them, are coming down from the high country earlier than they have over the last few years.

    Maybe a good hunt’n season THIS year!

    P.P.S. When we go up to the cabin, in the Sangra de Cristo range, we always pack hardware when going to the ‘little house’. Mountain lions have been seen ‘romping’ across the meadow from the windows.

  7. I live one hour outside of Washington, D.C., where the bear population has exploded since 1970. From about 1920-1970 the bear population stayed about the same. Here is a chart that shows the hunting harvest in West Virginia —

    I found a Virginia bear population growth chart once (I can’t find it now) that showed similar parabolic growth since 1970.

    I grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania. As children we were free to roam and play at will. My children don’t have the same freedom – I feel there is a genuine danger from black bears.

    Here where we live now in Virginia, every family I’ve talked to has seen a bear in their yard this week or knows someone who has. We saw a bear a few days ago. We were at a building with forty or so children, and a few minutes after the toddlers went inside from playing, a very large bear rumbled through their playground. This location was less than a quarter of a mile from a busy highway and shopping – we were not expecting such a sight.

    We called our local animal control and they said not to worry about it.

    I grew up without bears. Our forefather pioneers shot the bears. Laura Ingalls told stories about bears, and they all involve making sure Pa had his gun at all times.

    I don’t want to live with bears here in the east. If they want them in Colorado, fine. I don’t know why living with bears is a human need.

  8. The real ugly thing about the “Disney Syndrome” is that it demeans the animals it is directed at. We stop seeing them a real creatures that eat, defecate, fight and mate and instead see them as just little stuffed animal props in our own human psychodramas.

    We even do this to our pets. People call their dogs and cats “furbabies” and insist on treating them like spoiled human children instead of their own unique species with their own unique modes of communication and genetically hardwired social behaviors. Treating them like human children eventually drives them insane and they end up euthanized.

  9. Oh yeah. Who was that idiot who made the movie where he “lived with the Grizzlies”?

    “Bear Scat” somethin’…

  10. Clearly the legislature should just pass a law that makes it illegal for bears to do that.

    Silly legislature, for not figuring out that the tool they use to solve every other problem works exactly as well on this one.

  11. Just the stupidity of people thinking that ANY bears are not agressive goes to show the problem with the left in America. I will note though they probably have the right to sue in court if they get shot by a Coloradian or so The Won’s idiot Cass Sustein would like them to. I can see that case now, the bear is brought in dressed in a suit (have to respect the judge) Sustein will sit at complaintents table with the bear and the idiot who attempted to save his own life by shooting the bear getting boo’d by all the animal rights activists in the courtroom. The bear of course will do what WE expect him to and EAT Sustein…ROTFLMAO at that vision!

  12. Maybe if Obama got together with the bear and they had a beer together at the White House this problem could be solved.

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