How ‘Bout We Give the Bears a Break?

bearThe San Francisco Chronicle published an interesting story about the bears in Yosemite breaking in cars to try and find food. The story had some enlightening statistics, such as the fact that bear break into minivans 26% of the time, even though minivans only make up 7% of the vehicles parked in the valley. The implication is that the bears are smart enough to realize which kind of vehicles have the best food.

Things took a strange turn, however, with one of the paragraphs. Apparently writer Peter Fimrite decided he wanted to use as many adjectives as possible, including many that I find offensive to bears. See below with my emphasis in bold.

The ungainly brutes have been known to just waltz into campsites with impunity and scarf everything in sight. They sometimes lumber into homes, rip out cupboards and empty refrigerators. Some bruins take up residence under empty homes and just feast until all the food is gone. The furry gluttons eventually give birth to cubs that also learn the joys of wallowing in the syrupy wreckage of a human food cache.

Is this a high school grammar exercise in action? That sure is a lot of different ways of saying “bears” and why is the negative tone necessary? I think Mr. Fimrite needs to remember these are animals capable of ripping open a minivan to get at the food trapped inside. Hardly a “lumbering” brute!

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