Sunday, November 9, 2014

Dangerous local animals

Guidebooks to Maui usually warn visitors about dangerous animals like tiger sharks, sea urchins or centipedes. But there are bears on Maui and it is a good idea to be wary of them.

Like the bears at Yellowstone National Park they are shaggy, and like the bears at Jellystone Park they talk. They have names like Dreaming Bear, Scheming Bear, Sleeping Bear, Cruising Bear, Conniving Bear, Bobby Bare and Yogi Bear.

Most bears that you have heard of, like grizzly bears, Kodiak bears, Russian brown bears, black bears, Himalayan sun bears, the University of California at Berkeley Bears, polar bears and Boo-Boo Bear, hunt for salmon, seals or joggers or forage for berries, garbage or picnic baskets. The Maui bear preys almost exclusively on Trustafarians.

Earliest picture of Maui bear, made on Vancouver's expedition

You can find these bears in Haiku, Makawao and Kula, shambling forward on their hind feet, big furry heads swaying back and forth, snuffing the air for a scent of a Trust Fund Baby (Simplicius gullibilis).

Their tactic is to appear affectionate and kind to the Trustafarian in order to get close enough to devour him or her. Sometimes the bears even attempt to copulate with them, with results that don’t bear thinking about.

Trustafarians make ideal provender for Maui bears. Even if they are stripped right down to the bone, on the first of the following month they become fat and juicy again.

The local population of Trust Fund Kids puts a limit on the population of Maui bears, which, like centipedes or mosquitoes, are an invasive species. Maui bears often claim to be from Siberia or Mongolia, or sometimes Alaska or Canada, but most of them are really dropouts from continuation school in Fresno.

If you see one outside the East Maui and Upcountry areas where they are ineradicably established, you should report the sighting to the Maui Invasive Species Committee  pest hot line: 643-PEST.

The best defense against a Maui bear is a sound scientific education, but walking away quickly is also effective. Should you be molested by a Maui bear, as a last resort you can try the emergency remedy used with jellyfish stings and piss on it.

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