If there’s anything 2020 has taught us, it’s that if something bizarre can happen, it will happen at some point between now and December.
The following story is proof of that.
As often happens in western North Carolina, a bear was spotted by a local Asheville, NC resident. Except in this particular case, the bear’s collar sported a “Trump 2020” political sticker:
Sheila Chapman tells News 13 the black bear wandered onto her front porch in North Asheville on July 31 when she noticed something colorful on its collar.
She says bear sightings have become pretty common in her area, but she grabbed her phone to take pictures of the sticker.
“We have so many places in this world to put stickers and express our political views,” Chapman says. “Using a wild animal for that is cruel and inhuman. It’s not OK.”
See photos of the sticker on the bear’s collar below:
Local organization "Help Asheville Bears" is offering a $5,000 reward for information on whoever put a 'Trump 2020' sticker on this black bear's collar, spotted in North Asheville.
Full story: https://t.co/07GuqSveyl
(Photos by Sheila Chapman) pic.twitter.com/CqBOm9MRbB
— WLOS (@WLOS_13) August 2, 2020
The photos of the bear outraged the group Help Asheville Bears (HAB). They have offered $5,000 to anyone who can provide reliable information through their tip line on who put the “cruel and inhuman” sticker on the collar:
Bears are NOT Billboards! Second black bear in Asheville,NC confirmed with political sticker on tracking collar….
Apparently they can’t find a better use for that $5,000.
Some are wondering if this bear is the same one spotted last fall with a pro-Trump sticker on its collar:
— ωη¢ ¢Фмм$ 🇺🇸 (@JRMONEYnc) August 3, 2020
At the time of that particular sighting, a wildlife biologist speculated that the sticker was put there by some random person, not anyone involved in bear research activities:
“The (way the) sticker wound up there – it had nothing to do with research activities,” said Jennifer Strules, a wildlife biologist at N.C. State University, which is conducting the North Carolina Urban/Suburban Bear Study in Asheville in conjunction with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. “We absolutely do not condone anyone approaching a bear at that close of a range to do something like that. It’s incredibly foolhardy and a public safety hazard for someone to do that.”
There’s no word yet from local Democratic officials in Asheville as to whether or not they believe bears should have voting rights, but considering that the bear is a Trump supporter, my guess is that they would say they don’t.
We’ll keep you posted…