Is this the summer of bears? A Washington Post special investigation


Just look at this little champion. (Roland Weihrauch//AFP/Getty Images)

Trend alert: This might be the summer of bears. Seriously! We’ve done some investigative reporting, and it turns out there have been a lot of bear-related headlines in the past few weeks. Can bears become the new sharks? Can bears become the new FIFA World Cup? (And on a related note: Are bears cheering for the United States?)

Let’s power rank nine recent bear highlights, from worst to first. First, though, please enjoy this video of a bear trying to eat a GoPro camera.

 

It was posted on YouTube earlier this week. (Summer of bears! It’s totally a thing!)

9. JUNE 26: BEAR CUB TEACHES CHILDREN HORRIFYING LESSON ABOUT LIFE, DEATH, NEVER VISITING SWISS ZOOS AGAIN, WE GUESS

Take it away, CNN:

A zoo in Switzerland is the latest to be embroiled in controversy, after it not only killed a healthy bear cub but will now stuff and display it to teach children that “nature can be cruel.”

I mean …

OK … um …

What. WHAT. What.

Not a great start. Let’s just move on.

8. JUNE 25: FEARLESS BEARS PARTY HARD IN WASHOUGAL, TIP OVER DUMPSTER, IGNORE THE HATERS RESIDENTS OF WASHOUGAL

We agree, this is a dilemma. What to do? As authorities told reporter Mark Hanrahan, bears will be bears!

This KGW-TV item is not very high on the list because we feel sorry for both the bears and humans. However, we are awarding bonus points because the anchor’s last name is “Barry.”

7. JUNE 26: BEARS WINNIE THE POOH IT IN VIRGINIA

And by “Winnie the Pooh it,” we mean “eat a lot of honey.”

Reports WVEC:

The bear population is on the rise in Hampton Roads and now the animals are going after pots of honey.

Diane Newbern was worried when a bear started sneaking in to eat her bee hives at her farm on General Mahone Blvd.

“You could see that the bear took the hive into the grass to eat the honey and the bees,” she explained.

Oh, bother.

6. JUNE 10: PRESIDENT OBAMA SHOUTS, ‘THE BEAR IS LOOSE!’

 

He gets it.

5. JUNE 19: BEAR VISITS NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH, GIVEN MEDICAL CARE BY WHICH WE MEAN GIVEN A BEAR TRANQUILIZER

This bear, which you might remember from that time everyone talked about it on Twitter, was taken away to live a happy and fulfilling life at McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area in Montgomery County, according to us.

4. MAY 8: AMAZING BACK-SCRATCHING BEAR IS JUST OUT THERE, EATING DOUGHNUTS, LIVING LIFE

 

We have nothing to add. Thanks, AP. (And also Post intern Jessica Contrera, who brought this to our attention.)

3. JUNE 19: CHICAGO BEARS RELEASE TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE

Oops, sorry. Our bad. Wrong bears.

2. MAY 31: WORLD’S CHILLEST BEAR FINDS HAMMOCK IN FLORIDA, TAKES A LITTLE ME TIME

So this happened in late May, which is technically late spring, but we’ve already broken our “summers only” rule, and this was super.

Again, via CNN:

1. JUNE 25: BEAR LITERALLY CRASHES ALASKA BIRTHDAY PARTY, HAS A LOVELY TIME (UNTIL HE IS POSSIBLY SHOT. WE DON’T KNOW. IT’S HARD TO SAY)

We would encourage you to read this Juneau Empire story in full. Here’s a teaser:

The dazed bear quickly recovered from its fall. It then calmly wandered over to the living room table, replete with a spread of birthday treats, and helped itself to some lemon blueberry and peanut butter cupcakes.

“The bear walks over and puts its paws up on the table and starts licking his birthday cupcakes, and I’m just like, you’ve got to be kidding me,” said Bishop, 33, who was watching the spectacle from the kitchen behind closed glass doors.

The bear enjoyed the red and green cupcake frosting while Bishop opened a door on the other side of the room that led to the backyard. The couple then yelled and “shooed” at the bear until it casually ambled out the door.

We can’t wait to find out what our bear friends have in store for us next. Time to step up your game, Bao Bao.

Sarah Larimer is a general assignment reporter for the Washington Post.
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Sarah Larimer | June 27