YELLOWSTONE, WY—The U.S. National Park Service is now recommending that campers bring their own protection bear when hiking or camping in areas where bears are a known threat.
“Bears are the greatest apex predators on land,” said Mike Reynolds, the Acting Director of the U.S. National Parks Service when asked how the bureau came up with the protection bear concept. “They are like the diamonds in the rough. And the only thing that can cut a diamond is another diamond.”
When it was pointed out that fatalities from protection bears in the trial program in Yellowstone far exceeded those fatalities derived from wild bear attacks, Reynolds commented, “If you want to be sitting there in your flimsy tent with just a can of Vienna sausages in your hand when a grizzly comes roaring through, be my guest. I’m gonna have my Old Ben.”
“We’re all adults here and can be careful with our protection bears,” Reynolds said. “Just follow a few simple rules: Never look your protection bear in the eye, threaten it, withhold food, allow it to be startled, show fear, or even feel fear. If you follow these simple rules you’ll never be safer.”
Added Reynolds, “I gotta tell ya, I’m not gonna have my rights to my protection bear taken away just because some amateur accidentally steps on the bear’s toe and gets eaten.”
Reynolds said that if this program becomes the success that he expects the Park Service will deploy a similar program for rattlesnakes.