May 8th, 2001
Well, only one week into the Lancaster Bearwatch, and, already, what an incredible response we've had. Several of you have written in to tell us about the small pack of Black Russian Bears which may be seen regularly ambling up and down the Cycle path between Halton and the Lansil Industrial estate. This is a real coup, since Black Bears had previously been thought to be extinct since the late nineteenth century, particularly around the Halton and Caton areas.
Donnie Grosmond has certainly had an interesting experience with Bears. He writes:
A big Monkey
I am an elderly bicycle maintenance worker. Only last week, I was sat in my workshop near to the Haverbreaks estate, when my attention was distracted momentarily. For what should I see, but a pair of small monkeys playing off-ground tick on my front lawn. Of course, I tried telling them that they were trespassing on my land, but they continued nonetheless, until a loud roar sounded, and they ran off. As I turned around, mystified, I was somewhat taken aback to discover a large Kodiak Bear making off with my 14-speed Hawk Racing Cycle, the pride of my collection.
Thinking back on this now, I can only conclude that the monkeys were in the employ of the large Kodiak Bear, and that it was he who had masterminded the entire thing, getting them to distract me for just long enough to take my bicycle. I consider that it would be of considerable interest to you to learn that not only are bears at large in Haverbreaks, but that they are also diversifiying their interests into thievery, cycling and extorting monkeys. Yours, D Grosmond."
Naturally, we were very excited by Mr Grosmond's report, and we'll be hoping for much more of this kind of information. Perhaps you also know of local Bears involved in petty crime ? Pehaps you know of something more serious ? Whatever it is, we, here at Lancaster Bearwatch need to know all of the details. We really do feel that this so often over-looked part of local life needs documenting, so that a hundred, fifty, even ten years from now, people will be able to look back and ask "What was the state of Lancaster's Bears in 2001 ?" and be able to look upon the work of Bearwatch as a real resource. So keep it coming folks - we're relying on you. Why not mail us at Bearwatch ? We'll be waiting for you.