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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of four. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sasquatch raids the garbage

Sasquatch got into the garbage last night. In our neighborhood, Waste Management collects the garbage Wednesday morning; so everyone drags their cans to the road the night before. Sasquatch seems to know the schedule. She (and maybe other bears) have been doing the garbage run here for several years. Even down in Butte Creek canyon you can find bear scat with black plastic in it.

Neighbor Richard, who can see the garbage cans from his house, called this morning and reported that his garbage can was upright, my can was knocked over but the garbage was untouched, and neighbor Shannon's garbage was all over the place.

Richard's forensic interpretation is that Shannon's garbage was the first target. It probably smelled the best, and Sasquatch obviously took her time dining there. After that, she tipped Richard's can and triggered the "screaming canary" alarm--that's the one dollar security alarm that he fastened to the lid of his can (see October's post "Coexistence at last"). When the bear stumbled backwards, he surmises, it knocked over my can. Presumably, it was so alarmed by the ear-piercing "canary" that it went away. [Two of the neighbor's dogs were eating scraps when Richard visited the scene of the crime. He said they cowered and tucked their tails between their legs when he lifted his garbage can lid and the canary started to scream.

I checked the camera traps by my house, but there were no bear pictures. Sasquatch must have approached the neighborhood by a different route.

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