Potvin Newsly

Friday, August 8, 2008

Bear Attack Week: The Zombie Bear

When one thinks of the greatest threats to humanity, often it is humanity itself that tops the list. Then one thinks of zombies and realizes that, though derived from humans, zombies really have no trace of humanity left in their rotting flesh corpses as they mindlessly march us toward our (and ironically their) extinction. Then one thinks of how a zombie bear would obviously be much more dangerous than a zombie human. Thus one finds mankind’s worst enemy: The Zombie Bear.

Much like a human zombie, a zombie bear will track down and attempt to eat any living animal it can; especially its brains. But regular bears, being animals as they are, have a natural “anti-zombie instinct” that allows them to detect when zombie “life” forms are present. Just like when a dog starts barking at a zombie because it realizes the impending doom that is certain to engulf the whole of the animal kingdom. So most bears will naturally avoid zombies of any type (especially of the bear variety) and head north, where it is safer due to the cold, harsh climate and those shifty Canadians. Bear numbers will fall, but ultimately they will not face extinction; only man, and the livestock and grains that owe their dependency to us, face this certain peril.

Zombie bears will attack people for the same reason zombie humans do: humans are the easiest thing to track down and eat. Also, humans have the tastiest brains, and can be found in great numbers pretty much anywhere around the world, especially China. Our only hope relies on two conditions:

  1. There will not be many zombie bears to terrorize us. If there are too many for us to properly respond to, they will likely force humanity to live in a system of underground caves, where we will subside for several millennia, until the posh, luxury laden class of sub-humans arise and live upon the bounty of a rejuvenated earth, only to be harvested at night and eaten by the hideous Morlocks still residing beneath the surface.
  2. The zombie virus that infects bears does not jump from species to species; i.e. zombie bears do not make zombie humans upon biting humans.

As I said before, normal bears will likely be able to avoid the dreaded zombie bear and properly expel it from their community by dumping it upon ours. So, with condition one being met, we only need to hope that the zombie bear virus is not adapted to interspecies infection. Luckily, for us, there is evidence appearing that it isn’t.

August 25th, 2005; John Otter was hiking with his daughter, Jenna, in Glacier National Park in Montana. Then a bear appeared. I smell trouble. The bear attack John, who valiantly defended his daughter from da bear. The bear gave John some serious injuries: five major bites over his body, a broken eye socket, three broken ribs, and five broken vertebrae. But perhaps most disturbing is that the bear ripped off his scalp, exposing his skull. Otter said he tried to protect his head, but remarked “I could feel the tooth going in.” Obviously this bear was a zombie that not only tried to devour Otter’s flesh, but also his delicious brains. It is unknown as to why the bear did not finish off John Otter, though many speculate that there are high concentrations of silver and naturally occurring Holy Water in the area, perhaps “spooking” the zombie bear, if such a thing can be done. Luckily for civilization, John Otter did not become a zombie himself and devour his family, converting them into the first recruits of an undefeatable Army of the (Un)Dead. In fact, as far as you know, he made a full recovery (in Area 51).

Need more proof that there are zombie bears but in fact that the zombie bear virus is not transmittable to humans? Cite example dos:

Brent Case, a 53 year old outdoorsman from Vancouver Island, Canada, was a victim in what many people think is a classic zombie bear attack. Case said he saw a 900 pound grizzly bear coming at him aggressively (as if bears know any other way to approach people), and dropped to the ground to play dead. But that didn’t stop this zombie bear from ripping into the un-undead Case.

First the bear grabbed one of Case’s arms and tore into it, obviously to satisfy its desire for living blood and flesh. Then the bear bit into his head, leaving his scalp in bloody flaps and putting gaping wounds into his skull. As Case recounts the terrifying incident, “[I thought] ‘He’s eating my brains. I know it, I can feel it. I hope he gets over it soon.’ I was hurting so bad…” And what kind of bears eat brains? ZOMBIE BEARS – exactly!

Case did, in spite of logic, survive the incident and did not succumb to the zombie virus. He even made an appearance on the Today show after the incident, and made no remarks of wanting to eat Meredith Vieira’s brains. The bear was found and shot, though the body “mysteriously” disappeared without explanation. Is it just me or is the government getting lazier and lazier with its cover-ups?

So there you have it people, zombie bears: worse than Lex Luther, the Black Plague, and Communists all put together.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Bear Attack Week: The Bear Lethality Index

Many arguments erupt over which bears are “best.” One can only assume that “best” means “deadliest” or “most lethal” when talking about bears. What other criteria could be used to determine which bear is best? Exactly – none.

I will traverse the vast many species of bears to discover which bear is indeed the best bear of them all.

Koala Bear – This bear ranks extremely low in lethality, due to the fact that it is neither a bear nor lethal.

Panda Bear – Panda bears are probably “capable” of killing people, but are they capable of killing other bears? The deadliest bears are. The panda is barely worth mentioning, if not for that time a zoo panda in China mauled a teen when he jumped into “gentle Gu Gu’s” pen. What’s worse than getting attacked by a bear? Surviving and having to tell your friends it was a panda named Gu Gu.

Spectacled Bear – So named because it kind of looks like this bear’s wearing glasses. If that isn’t dis-alarming enough, this bear isn’t even thought to actually be carnivorous. No deaths have ever been reported. Weak.

Sun Bear – This bear has sharp, sickle-shaped claws and formidable teeth; quite scary. But, this bear is also only four feet long and usually weighs less than 145 pounds. Losing some cool points there, bear. This bear isn’t expected to be a threat to anybody who’s reached puberty, and, being the smallest member of the bear family, is sometimes hunted by the Asian black bear. Extra weak.

Sloth Bear – Now, this isn’t a group of bears this time, but this bear was once actually thought to be a sloth, and was known as the bear sloth. It makes one think that if it’s not “beary” enough to be thought of as a bear right off the bat, then how could it be considered for world’s deadliest bear?

Sloth bears are said (by whom I don’t know) to be the most aggressive and least predictable of all Asian bears. And the bears are deadly: during a six year period in one central Indian state, sloth bears killed 48 people. For a comparison, consider that grizzlies killed about 50 people in the whole of North America from 1900-2003.

One creature in particular, the sloth bear of Mysore, was credited with killing 12 people and mauling another 2 dozen in predominately unprovoked attacks. Survivors often lost one or both eyes, and those killed by the bear usually had their faces entirely removed from their head, usually. Sick. This bear only partially ate three people, so he was pretty much killing just for the fuck of it. The sloth bear of Mysore, and indeed all sloth bears, score pretty high on the lethalmeter.

Asian Black Bear – This bear is very similar to the American black bear, with one notable exception: excessive aggressiveness. Some “experts” say this might be due to their more frequent contact with humans, but I say it’s their revenge for the bile-harvesting from their gallbladders. Asian black bears are not fans of traditional Chinese medicine. These bears are deemed to have “above average lethality”.

American Black Bear – These cunning agents of death are known for conducting more predatory attacks than their larger cousins, the brown bears. These guys are the velociraptors of bears. In mid-1992, a black bear entered a retreat cabin occupied by Army Captain Michael Staver and his wife, Darcy. The beast crawled through the window, so Michael and Darcy climbed onto the roof, where they remained marooned. Michael, upon agreement with his wife, ran to their boat to go get help. When he returned with authorities and guns, the bear was found feasting on Darcy’s remains on the ground; it had apparently climbed a tree next to the house and forced her off the roof. From her wounds, it was seen that she had fought the bear with an intrepid spirit to no avail. Michael kept the bear as a pet; it later ate his cat.

In May, 1978, George & Mark Halfkenny and William Rhindress, 12, 14, and 16 years old, respectively, where spending a day fishing in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. William’s older brother, Richard, 18, had taken them out for a day of outdoor activities and other stuff. Anyway, nearing the evening hours, a black bear attacked George Halfkenny whilst he was fishing. Sneak attack, from behind. When Mark Halfkenny and William Rhindress went out to search for their comrade, they too were stalked by the murderous bear. They were both found with broken necks. Richard Rhindress then went about searching for the trio, but saw no sign of them. He left and enlisted the help of the authorities who found the bear guarding the boys’ bodies for later meals.

In August of 1993, a black bear ripped off the door to Colin McClelland’s trailer then crushed his skull. When the brute strength of a bear is tied to the tenacity of a bear and the cunning of a bear, then you have a very dangerous bear. You then have an American Black Bear.

Polar Bears – These bears are, on average, the largest specimens. Certain subspecies of the brown bear may reach sizes that exceed polar bears, but the average brown bear should be slightly smaller than a polar bear. Polar bears have distinctly shaped claws that help them grip the ice and capture their large prey. These claws are designed for killing more so than any another bear. Also, the polar bear’s canines are the largest and sharpest of any bear, although the polar bear’s jaw is usually smaller than a brown bear’s. Polar bear attacks are pretty rare, but they are almost always lethal, as opposed to Brown bears, who typically just maul a person and walk away, whether or not they killed you. The polar bear’s large size, specially made “deathclaws” and “murderteef,” added with it’s tendency to totally go sickhouse on somebody’s ass, gives them a high lethality index.

Brown Bears – The largest of the brown bears are the largest of the bears, period. Kodiak grizzlies and their close cousins, the Kamchatka grizzlies, regularly approach sizes equaling or exceeding that of polar bears. These bears rarely turn into man-eaters, but killing you and leaving you by the wayside might just be more brutal.

In the spring of 1987, Charles Gibbs was photographing a female with cubs in Glacier National Park. This was the last time he was seen alive. Investigators did recover his camera, and developed film of the bear approaching in attack mode at 50 yards. That’s some serious Bear Witch Project shit right there.

Audelio Luis Cortes was working in Alaska with a seismic crew in February of 1998, when a brown bear killed him with a single bite to the head. Viciously brutal.

Julie Helgeson was 19 in the summer of 1967, when she decided to go camping in Glacier National Park. Around the same time, a grizzly decided to drag her sleeping bag from her tent into the woods. Julie’s problem was that she was inside the sleeping bag. The bear did not like this.

Conclusion – Which bear is best deadliest? While Asian black bears and sloth bears score high marks in the number of fatalities, they cannot be regarded as the best bears because they are not apex predators. Asian black bears could account for up to 7% of Siberian tigers’ diets where the two animals live together. Sloth bears are even worse when it comes to being eaten by other animals.

That pretty much narrows it down to the American black bear, the brown bear, and the polar bear. American black bears tend to be more predatory towards people than brown bears, but there’s nearly ten times more black bears than brown ones in North America, and black bears don’t create a significantly greater amount of fatalities to demonstrate this. Hell, half the time brown bears aren’t even trying to kill people, it just happens accidentally when you go into their mechanic shop and they give you a total overmaul. Also, head to head, brown bears beat black bears like silly billies. Killings of black bears by brown ones are extremely rare, but do occur.

So how’s brownie compare to the polar bear? Both bears are extremely well suited for killing people, but brown bears do it more often. Score one there. Brown bears and polar bears don’t interact too often, but brown bears tend to dominate polar bears in disputes over carcasses. That being said, I crown the brown bear as The Best Bear.

Added bonus points: brown bears have reportedly eaten panda bears. Check it out in the Great Bear Almanac.