As you’ve surely heard by now, a bear in a Minnesota zoo shattered a pane of glass with a boulder. That a wild animal would want to destroy a barrier keeping it within a confined habitat isn’t all that remarkable, but what is noteworthy is precisely how this bear went about breaking the glass.
From the Minnesota Star Tribune:
A grizzly bear at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley picked up a basketball-sized rock with both front paws Monday morning and repeatedly slammed it into a pane of glass, shattering the barrier as startled patrons stood on the other side.
Robin Ficker, a visitor from Maryland, said he was watching “the bears wrestling with each other and looking at the people” shortly after the zoo opened at 9 a.m. Then one of the animals “picked up from the bottom of the pool a rock that had to weigh 50 pounds. And while many people were standing there, he slammed it against the glass several times,” Ficker said.
Maybe you’re the type of person who can read a news item about a grizzly bear retrieving a 50-pound boulder from the bottom of a pool and then repeatedly slamming that boulder—as if it were a tool—into a pane of glass meant to separate the bear from a group of appetizing humans and say, “Heh, what a silly news story. Bears sure are crazy.” Maybe you’re also a fucking idiot.
Or maybe you’re not a fucking idiot, and have read “Violence of the Lambs” by John Jeremiah Sullivan. Maybe you, ever since reading that story, have maintained a heightened awareness of animals behaving in strange or curiously aggressive ways. Maybe you’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what you will do when the final thread holding together the tenuous harmony that has existed between humans and the animal kingdom for thousands of years finally snaps. Even though you’ve never been to Minnesota, maybe you can’t stop hearing the tap-tap-tapping of a boulder meeting glass, and considering the message conveyed by that shattered window. Maybe you won’t be going outside this weekend.