Thursday, January 27, 2011

How to Bear with Bears

In Emerald Green forest, inhabitants use different ways to protect themselves from wild bears.

In the last few weeks, large brown bears are not an uncommon sight, whether in the eyes of the farmers, or the eyes of the Luka Luka tribesmen. “I regularly hunt them down due to overpopulation.” remarks John Chris, a soldier posted at Paragon school, situated in the middle of the forest.

When asked why he was posted at Paragon school, he replied: “General Hudson sent me to protect the school students from the bears. For some reason, there are more bears roaming that area.”

Apparently, other soldiers interviewed on their specific post, all responded with a similar answer, that they were sent to protect the inhabitants from bears.

The tribesmen seem to be engaged with the bears in a rather differing activity. “We hunt the bears for food,” states the tribe master chief Maga Maga. When asked if there was competition between the tribesmen and the soldiers, he simply replied: “We hunt the bear down much faster.”

But what do the potential bear victims say about this? Farmer Jo, who lived there for 5 generations claims his crops have been trampled over by the ravenous bears. “The government has asked soldiers to come to kill the bears but I don’t think it’s a good idea.” When asked of his opinion of the Luka Luka tribesman, he put it very briefly: “Don’t disturb them and they will not disturb us.”

Apart from bears, rumours spread that dinosaurs as well as bears are residing in the same forest. “I so believe I myself actually came in contact with one,” claims Dr Yap, a doctor who studies the animals in the forest. A 30 year-old environmentalist cum rubbish collector and teacher also sees this possibility as there is a great biodiversity of species in the forest. But a witch doctor among the tribesmen disagrees and claims it could have been his lizard.

Whatever the case, whatever way the danger is cleared, inhabitants plainly wish for peace to be brought to the forest shortly.

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