Going back as far as the 1920’s, the media has portrayed bears as portly creatures, most of whom wear ill-fitting clothes, and all of whom are either currently snacking or trying to acquire snacks.
But that’s not very accurate, or fair!
First of all, almost no bears wear clothes. That’s just ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, it’d be delightful if they did sport tiny red tee shirts, or fun combinations like a green hat with only a necktie, but expecting a bear to find a tailor is absurd and we shouldn’t ask that of them.
Secondly, reducing bears to gauche snack-fiends is a gross stereotype and I, for one, will not stand for it. Sure, they’re enthusiastic eaters. Voracious, even. And yes, occasionally their pursuit of food leads to minor crimes like breaking and entering, or destruction of property, or grand theft auto.
But that’s not because they’re gluttons! It’s because they’re connoisseurs.
Ibrahim Sedef is an agricultural engineer from Trabzon, Turkey, whose work in beekeeping resulted in a lot of firsthand experience with such connoisseurs. The local bears quickly acquired a taste for the honey produced by Sedef’s bees, and would frequently trash his hives in the middle of the night so they could get at it. Which, I will admit, is a bit rude. Sedef tried several different approaches to protect the hives from the bears, including boxing them in metal cages, and leaving out other food for the bears like fruit, bread, and even other types of honey!
As we’ve discussed, though, bears are foodies, so they weren’t interested in generic-brand honey or deterred by obstacles like metal cages.
They needed that artisanal, farm-to-table good shit.
Eventually, Ibrahim Sedef gave up trying to keep the bears away, and instead decided to use their refined palates to his advantage. He set up his surveillance camera in front of a table and placed four different kinds of honey he had crafted, each in its own labelled dish, and let the bears do their thing.
The next day, Sedef would review the footage and record the results. As it turns out, the bears all consistently went for the exact same honey first and more often than any other.
The fan favorite? Anzer honey — the most expensive one by far. Like, really expensive. Like, $300 per 2-pounds expensive.
So if a bear ever wanders into your campsite or backyard and rummages through your food, take it as a compliment — clearly whatever you’ve been cooking up is good enough for some expensive taste buds!
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