When I was a kid there were two possible outcomes of engaging a bear in hand-to-hand combat: (1) You die, or (2) you win, and spend the rest of your days in leisure while the humble townsfolk rush around bringing you the finest wines and cheeses in the land.
But the times, they are a-changin’.
The Vancouver Province reports that Jim West of British Columbia, who fought a bear to death earlier this month, is now the target of a smear campaign by animal rights’ activists, who have harassed him via phone and impersonated him in e-mails to media outlets.
I want to reiterate: Jim West fought a bear to death.
West was attacked by the female black bear while hunting for moose with his two dogs. He was knocked down twice by the bear, which is when most mortal humans would have curled up and soiled themselves. Instead of that, West grabbed a big stick and beat the bear in the head until it was dead.
But animal rights’ activists have been e-mailing media outlets in his name, attempting to alter the story, saying that, in fact, he treed the bear with his dogs and waited patiently for it to come down, whereupon he beat it to death with his big stick. If that were actually the case, this would be the last man on the planet I would want to be harrassing.
Fortunately for his harrassers, West is a gentle bear-killer.
“I hate confrontations of any kind,” he says of the phone calls to his house (not of the bear fight), “I try to be as polite as possible. I’m sorry, but it was simply a life-or-death situation.”
West required 60 stitches to his skull, upper lip, and left arm, which, presumably, he did himself with a staple gun.
The mother bear, in her defense, was protecting what she perceived as a threat to her two cubs, which were put down by Conservation officers after her death. Curiously, there is no report of the Conservation officers being harrased. The lesson here: should you be engaged in mortal combat with a bear, let it win. Should you come across two adorable, orphaned baby bear cubs, shoot them.
“Rare American Bird Touches Down in London for First Time, Gets Hit By Car”
Driver: “I say, is that an American Common Nighthawk I see?”
Passenger: “Indeed…it must have migrated.”
D: “But then, the American Common Nighthawk is non-migratory.”
P: “Perhaps it was carried here by sparrows.”
D: “What, under the dorsal guiding feath—oh, now we’ve hit it.”