This is a public service announcement. You should probably forget about running and riding for a while. Possibly all winter. Because there’s a really important priority right now in the middle of North America. Apparently we need to protect ourselves from polar bears.
You know, polar bears are known to kill and eat people. They will actually hunt you down and chaw on your carcass if they get a chance. And when they do find you, they will bite your skull and you’ll wind up looking like that guy in the Saturday Night Live skit with Headwound Harry.
Fortunately, there are brave hunters protecting us from the potential polar bear onslaught
In the interests of protecting the rest of North America from polar bear attacks, helpful hunters head up to the arctic every year for a chance to kill the King of the Arctic.
They also kill polar bears to feel the white soft fur of the bear once it is dead. One hunter named Fred Bear (no kidding) describes softly stroking the animal he’d just killed: “I walked up to the bear and began to run my hands through his fur. It was every bit as beautiful as it had seemed from a distance and had a very silky feel to it. I was surprised at the relative softness that it had as I expected it to be more coarse.”
Not such a good shot
Mr. Bear, otherwise known as Ricardo Longoria, went on to describe how much he admired the polar bear he had just shot through the gut with his bow and arrow after a couple of missed attempts, one of which hit the bear’s back leg.
Other hunters weigh in
A few hunters commenting online about the article did not seem too impressed with Mr. Longoria’s ethics, or his hunting tactics. As one wrote: That is the worst most unethical hunting story I have ever herd (sic). Some rich guy flinging arrows from a longbow at sixty yards or better at a polar bear. Luckily he finaly gets a “good shot” after hitting the bear in the rear leg and missing a couple of times. What a hero. What a JOKE! No wonder bowhunters are targeted by animal rights groups. Pathetic.
Another hunter who goes by the online name of Longbeard still thought Fred Bear did a good job killing his polar bear target, regardless how efficient he was with his bow. Longbeard commented: “Complain all you want on his ‘shot ethics’. the man’s nads still clank when he walks, as they’re most likely made of titanium. I know I don’t have ‘nads enough to do it, nor do a lot of others who post here.”
Doing the bears, and all of us, a favor
Fred Bear seemed to think he was doing the polar bear a huge favor by taking it out of its misery, living in the arctic and all. After all, it’s always cold up there, the ice is shrinking and there’s hardly enough food to go around. So polar bears are pretty much doomed anyway. Why not shoot them and save them the trouble of slowly going extinct?
Yet we must admit that Fred, or Ricardo, seemed to understand the wonder of what he’d just shot: “Its (the polar bear) proportions were massive! The pads alone were more than fourteen inches long. Its claws accounted for an additional two inches and were razor sharp. While turning the bear over I cut one of my hands with its claws. At this moment I realized that Polar Bear’s really are every bit as dangerous as they are said to be. I examined its mouth and was surprised to find that one of his canines was missing half of it. Abe (the guide) examined them and confirmed the bear’s old age. He thought that the fur might have been was white as it was due to a lack of adequate nutrition. After skinning and examining the carcass we noticed that this bear had almost no fat on it and was surely suffering from malnutrition.”
Hunters actually trying to prevent polar bear immigration
So really, we should all be grateful there are hunters brave enough to ride around on snow machines up in the arctic, hop off and send the dogs after polar bears and then sneak up on them with a longbow and shoot them through the gut.
Because, as you well know, polar bears are going to become a threat to people like us who like to run and ride in the Lower 48 states. Because if global warming keeps up, polar bears are going to run out of suitably cold territory north of the Arctic Circle and be forced, like Snowy Owls, to head down south to find food come the winter months.
Coming back home
See, polar bears are descendants of other large bears in North America, and it won’t take them but a couple generations of evolutionary inbreeding to get back their brown fur and mix in with the rest of the immigrant population south of the Canadian border. And when they do, polar bears with go after the low-hanging fruit, like us slow humans, just as they do up north with those baby seals they catch and eat for the blubber.
And guess who’s outside all winter trying to lose blubber down here in America? That’s riiiight. You guessed it: Runners and cyclists like you and me. Slow humans will make easy hunting for expatriated polar bears looking for faux seal meat.
Cougars are already moved in to the City of Chicago
Don’t laugh! There are already mountain lions and gray wolves making their way from out west into the City of Chicago. They’ve moved in to stay. And once a few mountain lions get a foothold down here in Chi-Town there will not be a safe place to run or ride in Lincoln Park.
Be warned! Cougars are already picking off runners and other hapless humans in the hills of California. But that’s just target practice. Wait until they’re jumping off of condos onto the back of Team in Training participants along Cannon Drive. There won’t be a runner or rider who can raise a dime for a non-profit organization once that gets started.
If you want to be safe, don’t dress like a seal
Inspired by the success of pioneering predatory species like mountain lions and wolves, it won’t be long before polar bears begin figuring out there’s easy game down south where people are running and riding around in suits and shorts that make them look like seals. Remember, polar bears can also smell prey from miles away. Those two factors do not bode well for exercising humans.
How they’ll get here
A polar bear could easily march its way south from Hudson Bay to the northern tier of Lake Michigan and swim down the western lakeshore to reach Chicago. Then they’ll crawl out near Montrose Harbor and pick off a few joggers before anyone takes much notice.
Rumor has it we humans are good eating, based on reports of cannibalism from many parts of the world. And it turns out that men actually taste better than women. The meat tends to be a little more lean. So at least you gals will have that going for you. If you see a polar bear coming at your Saturday morning running group, hide behind a buffed male hunk. You might save your own life.
Hunters fighting back against polar bears
So while it seems a bit cruel and stupid on the surface to hunt animals like polar bears running wild and free, just trying to survive in the arctic, the hunting community may actually be doing us all a favor because they seem to know something the rest of us don’t.
They’re fighting back against a polar bear population that has you in its sights. Polar
bears and can swim longer than Michael Phelps and run faster than Usain Bolt. They can even scoot across the ice faster than your average NHL player, although we wouldn’t really know that this year because that stupid hockey league is on strike.
But, if this is an icy winter on Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron or Lake Michigan, the runners and riders of Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago had better be on their toes. Polar bears could be sliding in for Sunday dinner. And you’re on the menu.
A cool piece of advice
So if you’re out running or riding in the winter this year, and you hear behind you the muffled footfalls of 14″ paws bearing 2″ daggerlike claws shielded inside the fur, you’d best keep up your pace or risk becoming a meal for one of the world’s most dangerous hunters. The polar bear. They’re here. They’re near. And they’re hungry.
And really, they’re not so cute and cuddly as those bears in the Coca-Cola commercials.
Safety tip: Better carry your longbow while out running or riding
For now, watch out for polar bears, or else carry a longbow with you when you’re out for a run or a ride. And don’t forget your arrows. Lots of them. A polar bear can be hard to hit when you’re cold and breathing hard.
We close today with an inspiring photo of one woman runner who thought ahead. She carried her compound bow with her on a twilight run near White Bear Lake, Minnesota, and bagged herself a new carpet just in time for Christmas. Now that’s taking care of your holiday shopping the smart way. Nice work, Sally!