For readers who can remember that far back, Part 7 detailed the majority of our visit to a little-known place called Bearizona. This visit occurred within the larger context of our Labor Day weekend trip, which we rechristened 'Uncle' Day weekend because we couldn’t take the summer heat in
Bearizona’s black bear exhibit was large in size and impressive in the number of bears it contained. The dirt road through the enclosure was probably close to a half-mile long, if you straightened out the two large loops designed to give the visitor more viewing opportunities. Once we entered, we saw almost immediately that the bears were active. The staff must have just fed them, because a substantial number of bears were just off the edge of the trail, eating breakfast. For some reason, they reminded me of old pictures of Dust-Bowl-era migrants pulled over informally along the shoulders of the
to eat, picnicking on their way to the Promised Land. I must have seen a picture like that once
upon a time; otherwise, I have no idea why that thought would even come to me. Some of the bears were on all fours, and some
were sitting straight up on their haunches, but all were doing the same
thing: eating slices of white
bread. Each one had a slice of the stuff
already in its mouth, or was holding it with a paw. We noticed one bear was holding his piece up
to the sun as though he were appreciating its form, the way I might hold up a
plump chunk of king crab leg glistening with clarified butter. Some had piles of slices next to them.
Who knew bears had a thing for Wonder
Bread? And they ate it with such apparent
relish, too; it seemed to be a delicacy to them, like eating dessert first. I’m sure they had been given other food as
well; good food, healthy food, food with actual flavor. All they seemed interested in was the Wonder
Bread. It was funny, but on some level, also
a little disturbing.
|Black bears and white bread.|
Sounds like a country song...