Black Bears have successfully been reintroduced into the bootheel of Missouri. If you are not from around here, the 'bootheel' is that area of Missouri that sort of acts like a ...well, a boot heel. It holds up the rest of the state with lush Ozark forests and beautiful Ozark lakes. More importantly, it provides a nice little vacation spot for the Coast of Illinois when there is not enough time to drive to other vacation spots. With white sand beaches. And salt water. And that delicious tuna dip served on the deck where you can watch the dolphins at sunset and they bring you mojitos in coconuts carved to look like monkeys...
But, I digress.
Understanding the way of the bear and its total disregard for personal space (ie - Bear hugs), and its apparent need for extremely soft toilet paper, we here at the Coast of Illinois would like to post a sign:
|Number of days since last mauling: 36500*|
Truthfully, this reintroduction is wonderful news. Black bears were indigenous to this part of the Coast but have been missing for nearly a century. Their return signals an improvement in forest conditions which were set off balance by logging and other human development. They do not normally attack people.
Picnic baskets are a totally different story.
*This an actual sign. Seriously. But, I am not going to tell you where it is posted. You have to guess. There might be a prize. Or a bearhug. But that's doubtful.