Alaska Peninsula and Becharof National Wildlife Refuges are home to towering mountains, active volcanoes, broad valleys, fjords, tundra and glacially formed lakes, which provide habitat for more than 260 species of resident and migratory wildlife. Portions of the peninsula contain some of the highest densities of brown bear in Alaska that feed on the five different species of Pacific salmon. Pictured here is the 4,835-foot tall Mt. Peulik, an active volcano that is cone-shaped and capped with snow even in the summer. Photo courtesy of Bob Dreeszen.
This is the reason why I haven’t been very active as of late. I’m currently working on two animated films, one about foo dogs and another about a bear. This is the major project because this is my senior film, or the film I need to finish before I graduate. These are just concept work before I really get into the full development of the film before actual animation; I’m so excited!
So the idea is basically this: A baby bear goes fishing to feed its sick mother.
If you’re wondering about the style choice, I’m taking inspiration from the Haida artstyle and trying to implement some of it into my film. C:
I gotta pitch this badboy to the school’s animation professors, so wish me luck!
OK, BECAUSE LIKE THREE OF YOU HAVE ASKED, A SHORT LIST OF DUMB SHIT I’VE SEEN TOURISTS DO:
Try to RIDE the bison. The one-ton pile of Pissed off Pot Roast with the horns than can rip your intestines right out, the bone-smashing hooves and YES IT CAN RUN 40 MPH THAT IS NOT A JOKE. Was grabbed by my mother before she could get her ass killed.
Let chihuahuas, pugs and other toy dogs run loose in the park. Where they can eat endangered small reptiles and mammals, or be eaten by coyotes.
Listen to ranger talk about the importance of staying the fuck on the trail, or you could fall through the ground into the thermal pools and boil to death. IMMEDIATELY steps off the trail to get closer to the 2000 degree Pool.
The Exact Same As Above, but with a barely-frozen-over lake.
Carve their names over Native American Petroglyphs. Was offended when pulled away by and fined by a Ranger. Got a bigger fine for spitting on the Ranger and trying to punch them.
Getting drunk and trying to piss out the Junior Ranger’s campfire.
“HEY RANGER I FOUND A LOST DOG!” The thing they have in the box is a Badger.
Got screamed at by a wildlife photographer who’d been camping out trying to get pictures of baby foxes in their den. He went inside to take a piss, missed them, so I showed him the pictures I took to make him feel better. He punched me, Stole my camera, then got tackled into the pavement by my sister to get my camera back. I was 11 at the time.
OH AND THE QUESTIONS:
“What time of year to the deer turn into elk?” EVERY GODAMN YEAR.
*Pointing at a Glacier* What’s that white stuff up on the mountain?”
“What time do we get to feed the bears?”
Tourist: “Does Old Faithful work on Christmas?” Ranger: “Yes. Several times a day, every day. It’s a natural feature-” Tourist: “Why would you force them to work on a Christian holiday!?” Ranger: “Who?” Tourist: “The Men Undergound that operate the spring! They should at least get Chistmas off!” Ranger, clearly done with this shit: “…They’re Jewish.”
I don't understand why it's wrong to befriend wild animals, especially if one lives alone/far from human settlements ( like those wildlife rehab places where workers bond with the animals) so it's not like the animal endangers itself just by coming there, I often see brought up that the animals would lose fear of humans in general, but.. one, is that really a problem if they're in a reserve anyway? Two, how come it would work like that? I thought wild animals are way less trusting (part 1)
compared to domesticated animals. And from my experience with dogs - I have a dog who acts like a playful puppy with my family, I’m pretty certain would never hurt us on purpose but barks at strangers and even on walks will let out a serious growl if they get too close, tolerates the dog she grew up with and plays with her daughter but is pretty aggressive with other dogs. Do wild animals not make that “everyone who wants my trust needs to earn it individually” distinction?
(This is going to be a fairly passionate response. I’m not trying to be a jerk, OP, I just have a lot of feelings on this).
Let’s start with the first thing that jumps out at me here: your use of the word “befriend”. Not “interact with”, not “feed”, not “pet”. “Befriend”. You’re looking for not just interaction, but an affiliative type of contact that hits a specific emotional state of being seen and recognized as important. Which leads to an immediate question of: this is a wild animal. Why do you think it wants to be your friend? Why do you think an animal that is not domesticated, not tame, that lives in a kill-or-be-killed harsh natural environment would find it worthwhile out to take time out of survival to have a mutually reciprocal relationship with a hairless primate? Why do you assume a wild animal is capable of that sort of friendship?
I have a lot of complicated feelings about this whole question, but it comes down to the fact that humans to have decided that we deserve the friendship and affiliative interaction of every single living thing on earth and that it is okay for us to completely modify an animal’s life to gain it. I fundamentally disagree with that assumption. Animals are not here for us. Wildlife is not here for us. We don’t have the right to stick our noses into the lives of animals simply because we get warm fuzzy feelings from getting close to them (and somehow not getting our faces ripped off as we rightly deserve most of the time for trying). Half the species we try to expect affiliative interaction from are solitary predators, and many others aren’t species even capable of affiliative social interaction. Biophilia - the innate need to empathize with non-humans animals - is one thing, and that’s all well and good, but we don’t need to interact with or touch everything to fulfill it; that comes out of a weird modern mental complex that since the world was made for humans, it is ethical for humans to do whatever the hell we like with and to it, and that since humans are inherently above/better than/different from animals our jurisdiction over the universe also extends to their lives. I do not think we are outside the natural order - I do not think we have the right to insert ourselves into the lives of wild animals simply for our personal pleasure.
Why? Our “friendship” with wildlife gets wildlife killed, in the long run, almost every single time. Human influence on an animal’s life majorly changes their behavior, their space use, their survival strategies, and their ability to actually act like an animal. None of this is good for survival.
Animals habituated to humans as a source of resources stay near human habitats, and are not only at a higher risk of being hurt by people or cars but are also at a higher risk of being euthanized for being pests. Animals that consider people save still have fight-or-flight instincts and will lash out at well intentioned humans when cornered and will get euthanized for being dangerous, if not because they actually bit someone and have to be tested for rabies. Animals used to eating human food will often choose to search for human refuse above normal foraging behavior, and some animals fed too much human food will forever have the microbiome of their guts changed and may starve to death once human food is no longer available since they can’t digest their normal forage anymore. Some animals brought up in close contact with humans will seek out their company over those of conspecifics, and never mate, or never learn how to hunt and feed themselves if the humans move on.
You asked why this is a problem for people who are far from population centers, or animals that are with rehabbers or on preserves. For the latter, ethical wildlife rehabbers and people who run preserves have made a commitment to keep animals wild. To do their jobs correctly, they should want the animals to never want to be around them again, because they are attempting to preserve nature - not make friends. People who try to “bond” with animals they’re rehabbing are selfishly fulfilling their biophilic urges with behavior that has been proven to decrease the survival rates of the animals it is their supposed duty to help survive.
To the former - why, say, if you live in a cabin in the middle of nowhere that you have to parachute in to and then hike thirty miles to get to, you shouldn’t feed the bears or raise squirrels to snuggle you - aside from all the ways that human influence lowers survival rates without necessarily needing human presence to persist, I will refer to the idea that humans do not inherently deserve animal friendship. In fact, they do much better when we just leave them the hell alone.
What people love about animals is their wildness, their difference from us. We can engage in our biophilic urges to love them for being wild from a distance if we want to keep them the things we love - we devalue what they are when we try to force on them the idea that they should love us back.
(Also, have you met a wild animal? They’re not nice. Those stories you see on social media about people befriending wildlife are so massively misportrayed and overstated that you’d think it happens daily, but most cases actually involve people getting hurt or scared out of their wits. So if you want to try to befriend animals. you need to be okay with the fact that most of them will be completely in the right to want to maul you for trying, because that’s what makes them wild).
Foraging time budgets: obligatory in for survival the wild, but why enrichment is critical in captive management situations.
One of the things worth noting, as I’m watching the second episode of BBC’s Wild Alaska (Summer) is simply how much time some of the animals spend foraging. The episode opens with grizzly bears foraging for clams on the beach while waiting for better prey to arrive - and a full sized female, it says, needs to find a couple of hundred clams a day. If it takes a minute or two to dig out each clam, get it out of the shell, eat it and then find the next one - let’s say a total of 3 minutes per clam as a rough estimate - and say a female needs 200 clams a day, you’re looking at least 600 minutes a day (10 hours) spent doing nothing but foraging! That’s a huge amount of effort and time invested just to break even on caloric expenditure.
I want to point this out because when we’re thinking about animals in captivity, this is why enrichment becomes so important - a bear in a zoo doesn’t have to spend half of the day foraging just to try to get enough food because we provide it all for them, but that means that suddenly they’ve got a huge amount of time “left over” in their activity budget compared to a wild bear. Enrichment and unique feeding strategies help encourage natural foraging behavior and keep animals occupied and engaged for much longer than just feeding them out of a bowl every morning. However, it’s also important to keep in mind that enrichment doesn’t need to and probably shouldn’t try to make up for a whole day’s worth of behavior. Animals are opportunistic, and even in the wild will happily scale back their activity level when resources are plentiful. If a wild bear has a field day and can get away with only foraging for clams, say, eight hours a day, they’re not going to continue being active for the extra two - there’s no point in expending the extra energy. This is something that, for captive animals, often looks to guests like the animals “have nothing to do” when in reality it’s more of a luxury than they’d ever be afforded in the wild. The trick for a good enrichment protocol, then, is to find a balance of keeping the animals occupied and engaged and fulfilled without trying to replicate the natural cycle of constantly obligatory caloric intake.
You two always take the time to return back to Hateno Village to relish in the fact that he’s a homeowner. Sharing a bed, having dinner by the fire, acting like a married couple; It’s nice to have a roof over your head and pretend for once, that the whole world didn’t rest on his shoulders.
He secretly takes photo candids of you on the Sheikah slate when he’s supposed to be scoping the area. You tell him to delete them all, but the disappointed look on his face could give sad puppies a run for their money.
And he’s actually a great photographer.
Whether it be snow or rain, he’ll gladly give up any piece of clothing to keep you warm. His sneezes may be the cutest, you have to make cold elixirs so he doesn’t freeze his chivalrous butt off.
Expect the unexpected. Anything could happen. One time, you were preparing the campfire and he rode in on a 300 pound bear.
“LINK!! ARE YOU INSANE!! WHY DO YOU HAVE A BEAR?!”
“I feed him and now he’s my friend.”
“Did you at least get the fish?!”
You two visit the ruins of his past on his travels. Lon Lon Ranch, specifically. He’s grown to hide his grief and tremendous heartache, but you coming to hold his hand in reassurance makes his tears fly. He hides his face in your warm neck and feel his tears dampen your shirt. You both hold each other in comfortable silence, because what could you say?
Found taped to the common room door, along with two iron washers and an unidentified leaf.
[Okay, before I start, I just want to apologize to charminglyantiquated for that disastrously uninformed post the other day, and the series of asks about the redheaded girl to your main blog before it - yes, that was me too. I know the risks. I know I Owe you something now. I’ve made up a dorm for EU and quite a few of its residents. If you’d like them in exchange for forgiving my ignorance, we can negotiate. ~Nerd]
TO ALL STUDENTS:
Welcome to Greenwood Hall. I assume you all attended freshman orientation - returning students, you may know some of the things in this letter but I advise reading it through, THOROUGHLY, anyway. All of you, do not spurn any of this counsel, or pass it off as outlandish or impossible. I have been here longer than any of you. I know better than any of you - yes, even you, Jackdaw - how to not do anything you might regret.
There are restroom facilities on every floor including the basement: one restroom per floor with both toilets and showers, one restroom per floor with toilets only. These are some of the safest places, provided you use your common sense; it should go without saying that dark corners and unfamiliar bars of soap are to be avoided. When in doubt, take a shower. If you have anything written on your hands or arms that you want to be sure remains there, washing your hands is perhaps inadvisable. However, at any other time it is only courteous to your fellow students that you do so.
There are three stairwells in Greenwood Hall and one elevator, for persons who are handicapped, injured, paranoid, or all three. In the event of a fire or other emergency, proceed calmly to the nearest exit, using the stairs ONLY. Make absolutely certain you know where the nearest exit is and exactly how to get there. Trust your memory, and do not listen to anything trying to tell you differently. Being afraid in such a scenario is only natural. Showing your fear, on the other hand, is extremely foolhardy. Take nothing with you but iron and salt.
Be courteous to your roommate, the students on your floor, and the students in the entire dormitory. Greenwood Hall runs quiet hours from 10:30 pm to 6 am every night. If you must make noise during this time, try to keep it as low as possible, as there will be other students trying to sleep. All room doors should be closed, and preferably protected, by midnight, and should NOT be opened until sunrise. Floor RAs (resident advisors) will be available for study help, informal counseling, or deal-making as per their schedules posted on each floor’s bulletin board. If you have a problem an RA cannot or will not help you with, you are welcome to visit me, in the apartment located at the south end of the basement hallway. My door is always open.
All Elsewhere University rules and treaty boundaries apply within the confines of this dormitory. Drugs and alcohol; weapons of any variety, especially firearms and suspicious ceremonial knives; matches, lighters, or other sources of open flame; and major summoning rituals are PROHIBITED inside the building. Pets, houseplants that could qualify as pets, furniture not meeting fire codes, and large electrical appliances such as toasters and refrigerators may be allowed on a case-by-case basis; see me, an RA, or the Dean of Residential Life for details.
And, lastly, a few situational tidbits about the dormitory itself. Do not ask about anyone’s name or family history, the tears in the portrait hanging in the common room, or the location of the secret passage onto the roof. The crows like to roost in the oak tree outside; DO NOT, under any circumstances, antagonize them. They will remember. If you are using the grand staircase and think you have bumped someone, do not apologize, but consider leaving a wreath of flowers on the banister the next time you pass by. Do not confuse the green door in the rear of the dormitory with my fire-exit door, which is gray, located on the south wall rather than the west one, and does not open from the outside. If the green door is there, you would be ill advised to acknowledge its existence, much less open it. Always carry your iron and salt. If you do not trust a person, do not look them in the eye or be anything but polite to them.
Be wary. Be wise. Be lucky. Do good work and do not attract attention, and you will have a safe year at Elsewhere University. I may be a little mysterious, but rest assured that I wish you only the best. And everyone, especially Mama Bear, remember: DO NOT FEED THE CAT. We do not want a repeat of last spring break, yes?
Your resident groundskeeper, unofficial dorm mother, and friend,
(P.S. Carol and Forsythia, you still owe something to me from last year. Sylvie, Red, and Corndog, I still owe something to you. See me in my apartment as soon as possible so we might begin negotiations.)