Monday, March 17, 2008

He Bear-ly Bee Suing

If you ever find yourself with too much time on your hands and just don't know what to do with yourself, try heading over to Macedonia, as it would seem they have the exact same problem. They have also chosen to combat said boredom by prosecuting bears. Yes, bears. That is correct, Boo-Boo.

According to the fine folks over there at, "A Macedonian court convicted a bear of theft and damage for stealing honey from a beekeeper who fought off the attacks with thumping "turbo-folk" music."

"I tried to distract the bear with lights and music because I heard bears are afraid of that," said Zoran Kiseloski. (He would be said "beekeeper" in "Bear vs. Beekeeper" playing at a Macedonian courthouse near you.) He heard "lights and music" frightened bears? He heard this where? The Macedonian Bear Discovery Channel? Well, wherever it was that he heard this, it's apparently up to the individual bear-ing the burden to decide what kind of lights and music to use. I really think that if you're going to let people SUE animals (for whatever reason, stealing your honey, your wife, whatever) you really should provide some guidelines.

He continued with, "So I bought a generator, lit up the area and put on songs of (Serbian 'turbo-folk' star) Ceca." Of course he did. Who?

I was previously unaware of the "turbo folk" genre of music. I was also previously unaware of "Ceca". (At first, I thought it was that pink poodle in Denver, but that's Cici. Totally different genre there.). Sadly, I am no longer unaware of either of them. And you won't be unaware for much longer either. Here she is. Miss Serbia Turbo Folk, Ceca, your Bear Deterrent du jour.

Granted, I only watched about 30 seconds of whatever that was (I found it to be more "turbo choke" than "turbo folk".), but I don't really know if that was the best bear deterrent music one could use. I mean, sure, the music would gag a goat, but this is a bear. Aside from that, some sultry blonde in a long white dress slinking around seems far from intimidating. Why wouldn't he choose some AC/DC, some Metallica, perhaps a selection from Iron Maiden even? Why her? I don't get it.

The bear, who was clearly smarter than the average beekeeper (or at least this one), did leave (as would I), but came back after a couple of weeks when the generator ran out of power (or when the bear pulled the plug). No power = no music. No music = bear. And once the bear was back, he resumed his practice of stealing honey. That's when Zoran took the next most logical action and sued the bear in court.

A court found the bear guilty. What a surprise. (Although, I would like to know what sort of situation there is where the bear would win. That would be interesting. ) And in another not so surprising twist, it turns out that the bear had no owner! ::gasp!:: But in Macedonia, that's not a problem. Since the bear is a protected species, the court ordered the state to pay the bear-suing beekeeper 140,000 denars as compensation for the damage it caused to the hives. (That's about $3335 in real dollars. For suing a bear. OK, you've convinced me. I'm in. )

The article concluded with, "There is no information on the whereabouts of the bear." What kind of information were they hoping to have? An address? A place of employment? Last cave hibernated in? Couldn't they just put out some honey, turn off the music and wait for the bear? AGAIN? I'm guessing that if they don't know where the bear is that, sadly, they cannot.

Could you imagine if the US had a crazy-ass system like this in place? You think the the legal system is clogged NOW? What do you think it would be like if people could sue wild animals? I'll tell you what it'd be like. It'd be like hoards of carpools and caravans from every trailer park in the south heading straight for the courthouse as soon as word of something like this got out.

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