Pedals to the MetalOpinion
To be honest, it’s pretty disappointing, but not all that surprising. Poor old Cecil the Lion had his 15 minutes of fame, but that’s over now. Animal rights activists seem to have forgotten him already. That’s a fickle bunch, those animal rights activists. Bless their hearts.
For a while there, you couldn’t hardly sling a cat without hitting an animal rights activist who was all in a dither over poor old Cecil being shot in Africa, legally, by a dentist from America. Not that you’d get away with slinging a cat, though. That’s just an expression. Nobody slings cats, really. Well, not anymore. As far as you know.
But Cecil was the darling of the animal rights crowd, for a while. Posthumously, of course, since almost none of them had heard of Cecil while he was alive. Once he was killed, legally, they all got upset, righteously indignant that someone would shoot such a beloved creature nobody had heard of, even though it was legal. Because feelings.
Those folks caused such an uproar over Cecil that hunting has tanked in Zimbabwe, to the point where wildlife officials are planning to kill 200 lions, to thin the herd. This will cost a lot of money, whereas if hunters came and killed the lions they would spend a lot of money, which could be used to aid wildlife in Zimbabwe. So, to boil it down, animal rights activists have done far more harm than just causing 200 lions to be killed. They’ve doomed no telling how many more animals because they care so much. Bless their hearts.
But Cecil is passé. He’s yesterday’s news. Nobody cares about Cecil anymore, now that Pedals has been killed, legally, by a hunter. Pedals is the new Cecil, and he’s probably even better for the animal rights bunch, since he lived right here in the good ol’ U. S. of A. And boy, are those animal rights folks upset.
In case you hadn’t heard, Pedals was a bear who became pretty popular a while back. He lived in northern New Jersey, and people saw him a lot, because he often ventured into residential areas in several towns and raided trash cans for food. Not that such events are all that uncommon, when there are too many bears in an area. And you would expect folks to be upset, and worried that such a bear would eat their pets and children. And normally they would be because that’s what nuisance bears always end up doing. And that’s what Pedals would have ended up doing because Pedals was a nuisance bear.
But the folks up there loved Pedals, and made videos of him, and posted them on YouTube, and made him a Facebook page. Because Pedals was special. He had been injured in one or both front legs, and had learned to walk on his hind legs. So that made him special. It also caused people who should know better to think that, because Pedals walked on two legs, he must be, well, you know, pretty much human. Because people walk on two legs. And Pedals would never hurt anyone because he hadn’t. Yet.
So Pedals was a Popular Bear. No doubt he was resourceful, and showed a great deal of initiative, learning to get around like that, and learning to find food in easy places, where people live. The folks in the towns frequented by Pedals decided they wanted to help him out. They were worried someone would shoot him, since New Jersey finally came to its senses in 2010, and started allowing limited bear hunting, because the Fish & Wildlife people figured out that there were too many bears. The population needed to be controlled.
Supporters got busy and started raising money to have Pedals relocated to a wildlife sanctuary in upstate New York, which is pretty thin on bears that walk like people. They raised $20,000 for that purpose, to capture a wild bear and imprison it, because they figured Pedals would be happier living in a pen than running around loose. And maybe they were right, but it didn’t work. The New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife said no. They said it would be better to leave Pedals alone where he was. And maybe they were right.
Now, I’d like the official record to show that no one from New Jersey contacted me to ask my opinion on the Pedals issue, for some reason. Which makes me wonder what good it is for me to be an expert about wildlife and bears and such if no one listens to me. But there you go.
Unfortunately, we’re about out of space here, so the story about Pedals the Bear is going to have to be continued next week. I’m not going to tell you what happened during the October 2016 Bow and Muzzleloader Bear Hunt in New Jersey because that would spoil the surprise I have planned for next week. Please don’t Google it, for goodness sake.
In the meantime, let me just say you should keep a weather eye out for animal rights activists. You’d probably be safer running into a dumpster diving bear than one of those folks.
Bless their hearts . . .
Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who never hunts bears near dumpsters. Well, almost never. Write to him at [email protected] .