Hungry and habituated bears; viral hackers; Truffle Snuffers — High Country News – Know the West

Accidents and chaos throughout the region.

CALIFORNIA
For a very long time, I thought a local restaurant was called “The Hungry Bear”. It was actually “The Angry Bear”, and its name got me thinking, or should I say “paws?” Because why on earth would diners choose to eat somewhere “angry?” “Hungry Bear” seems more accurate, especially now that we’ve met “Hank the Tank,” the famous black bear who’s been busy the last few months raiding a Lake Tahoe neighborhood. California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Peter Tira said SFGATE that the big bear is “severely habituated to food”, meaning he has “lost all fear of people” and associates humans with dinner. Neither authorities nor animal rights groups had reached a consensus on what exactly to do with the destructive bear, but its fate looked grim – until DNA evidence taken from the scenes of the crimes show that Hank wasn’t the only culprit; he had accomplices. According to the wildlife agency, at least two other bears were also responsible for break-ins at homes in South Lake Tahoe. This is a major break for Hank the Tank: officials say they have withdrawn plans to capture and euthanize him, and will “trap and work to displace habituated bears.” “All of these efforts are aimed at keeping residents safe and creating safe and healthy conditions for these bears,” the agency said.

WASHINGTON
Blink, and you might miss the lede: “Pirate Bar Faces Mutiny Over ‘Catch The Virus’ Show. Wait – Are There Any Pirate-Themed Bars? Well, make me shiver.When Vessel Taphouse in Lynnwood, Washington — which proudly proclaims itself “the only true pirate bar in Western Washington” — announced discounted drinks for patrons sick with COVID-19, everyone hell and the Kraken were unleashed. Bands canceled gigs, employees quit, regulars stopped dropping in. “Come see the show, maybe catch the virus or just stay home and moan,” a posted Vessel Taphouse on Facebook “Tickets $10 or $6 with proof of positive Omicron test!!!” Owner Steve Hartley said The daily Herald that the message was “a misguided attempt at humour”. Maybe next time, instead of hoisting the “Ouch!” flag, Hartley will think better of it and push all similar ideas to the bottom of Davy Jones’ locker.

OREGON
After a year-long pandemic hiatus, the Joriad North American Truffle Dog Championship resumed its course in February in Eugene, Oregon, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported. Oregon is a major producer in the US truffle market, and the Joriad Championship is the only truffle dog competition in North America. For those new to the truffle game, the little treat is a strong-smelling mushroom that grows underground. Specially trained animals are used to dig them up; if you’re Nicolas Cage, it’s probably a pig, but sometimes it’s a dog. Truffles have long been a treat; the ancient Romans believed they were the result of lightning striking damp earth, while modern-day Italians call them “fairy apples”, alluding to their magical qualities. Chefs around the world agree that truffles are among the most sought-after gastronomic “gems”, making the Joriad Championship, in a culinary sense, an exceptionally tasty gold rush. In just one hour, six dogs sniffed around $1,000 worth of this fabulous mushroom. “Our mechanism for elevating Oregon truffles into the pantheon of delicacies was to introduce truffle dogs,” said Charles Lefevre of the Oregon Truffle Festival. This year, Mia, a Lagotto Romagnolo from McMinnville, Oregon, won the championship after snatching 35 truffles in 60 minutes. When Mia was asked how winning the Joriad felt, she replied, “Truffle hunting is ruff-ruff.” Or at least that’s what we think she said.

CALIFORNIA
What has 2,000 quills, a prehensile tail, and a girth of almost 40 feet? Why, it’s an extraordinary porcupine puppet named Percy, of course. Percy is said to be almost two stories tall and boasts a nose the size of a Volkswagen. ABC News reported that a joint project of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop will help celebrate the opening of the zoo’s new Wildlife Explorer Base Camp. If you’re wondering, “Do you mean the Jim Henson, of Sesame Street, The Muppet Showand The dark crystalyou’d be right: Yes, that Jim Henson, pioneer and award-winning innovator of puppetry and animation. the biggest we’ve ever done,” said Peter Brooke, Creative Supervisor of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. Don’t be afraid to get too close; these quills may look sharp, but they’re just foam rubber.

Tiffany Midge is a citizen of the Standing Rock Nation and was raised by wolves in the Pacific Northwest. His book, Bury my heart at Chuck E. Cheese (Bison Books, 2019), was nominated for the Washington State Book Award. She resides in north-central Idaho near the Columbia River Plateau, home of the Nimiipuu.

Advice on western quirks is appreciated and often shared in this column. To write [email protected]or send a letter to the editor.

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