Evidently a black bear is on his way to my house. They say he’s looking for love with a female black bear, but no bear in Wisconsin or Illinois suited him. Now he’s trundled his way through several states and been spotted in Hannibal, Missouri, and if he continues his southern path he is welcome to eat some peanuts in our backyard. Perhaps he might hook up at Ladies’ Night at the S_____ Peanut Buffet.
They have given him the name Bruno. Evidently Bruno is the default name for lovelorn bears; there was a more dangerous Bruno the brown bear in Europe at one time.
Our Bruno is a harmless, peaceable black bear. However, wildlife experts all agree, “Don’t approach the bear.” No one says, “Tickle his belly, feed him by hand, he likes that.”
[hours later] BREAKING NEWS:
Okay, he really seems to be headed straight for us. I mean - I have driven on Interstate 79, the road he is on. It leads directly to our house. He’s about thirty miles away.
[then a few hours after that] BREAKING NEWS:
Bruno, Bruno, you’re our bear / Have some peanuts / Please don’t eat us.
[Updated the next morning]
The Internet claims that Bruno, after his long journey south, was intercepted by people from the wildlife department and from the Saint Louis Zoo. Supposedly he was rehydrated, sedated, and relocated to a large lake near Hannibal, which, yes, is back up north where he was at the beginning of this post.
I am suspicious. This makes no sense. If the bear is looking for love (or as one local paper tweets, Bruno the Bear is DTF), are there willing female black bears at Mark Twain Lake? If not, won’t Bruno just wake up and say, “Damnit, I was just here. I walked in a circle.” Wouldn’t it make far more sense to truck him south of Saint Louis so he just jumps over the dangers of the city?
[minutes later, after consulting a map]
Aaahhh ... wait. I bet he’s being shipped south to Mark Twain National Forest, not back north to Mark Twain Lake. (We’re a little proud of Mark Twain.) That’s better. The Forest has a lot more going for it, including recent reports of other black bears, plus the largest nearby city is a college town.
Still, if any Wisconsin bears pledged money for the Bruno walk-a-thon they might argue he cheated.
[later that morning]
Here’s the official story. It does not mention “Mark Twain” anything, but “Mark Twain” was referenced enough last night that I’m pretty sure he was taken to Mark Twain National Forest. It will be interesting to see what he does next. What if he backtracks and turns up on the doorstep of the Saint Louis Zoo, DTF?