I once worked at a zoo, as keeper of the bear-cub pit, overseeing twenty-eight orphaned baby bears, all roughhousing in their enclosure. I've been a bear fan ever since.
So the other day, on national public radio, I tuned into a Fresh Air interview with science-writer Mary Roach, author of a new book, Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law. She got my attention right off, because she said "bears."
She talked about bear home invasions.
She said bears have learned how to use door handles to open doors. Sometimes they do break the door down, but they can be thoughtful about it. For instance, one bear knocked down a house's front door, then carefully picked up the fallen door and neatly leaned it against the adjacent wall.
My favorite bear crime was ice-cream theft. Mr. or Ms. Bear breaks into your house, bee-lines for your refrigerator, opens the freezer, and takes out the ice cream containers. However, says Mary Roach, the bears have become particular about ice cream.
They ignore supermarket-brand ice creams. If it's not Ben & Jerry's or Haagen-Dazs, or some other gourmet ice cream, they just leave it in disgust.
Often, though, before lumbering out with their haul, they politely shut the freezer door.
Thanks for the bear uplift, Mary Roach. I'll be reading your book!