Innocent Bears Face Terrible Assault By Dangerous Salmon
Innocent grizzly bears throughout Alaska and the American Northwest have once again been beset by devastating salmon assaults, prompting conservation officials to take urgent action.
"Each year the attacks get fiercer and fiercer," said Marlin Torsk, director of the Alaskan Wildlife Preserve. "Frankly I don't see how the bears have managed to stay ahead as long as they have. We could start to see grizzly casualties any day."
Salmon spend about one to five years (depending on the species) in the open ocean where they reach maturity while preying mercilessly upon smaller, helpless fish. The adult salmon, brimming with menace and a mouthful of teeth, then returns to its natal stream to spawn. Teeming throngs of the silvery fish force their way upstream, terrrifying legions leaping from the water in a relentless piscine barrage that threatens all who stand in their way, such as the gentle grizzly bear.
"Bears are naturally clean animals," explained Torsk, "and frequently come to bathe in these freshwater streams. However, this stubbornly hygienic trait has proven to be a huge risk factor, as the bears are then placed directly in the path of this marauding stream of fish."
The salmon, which generally expire after reaching their goal and spawning, have little to lose, and hence attack with kamikaze ferocity.
"The bears typically are forced to defend themselves by biting the salmon," said Torsk. "To ensure that the fish will pose no threat to their young, the bears will diligently consume any fish they happen to catch with their jaws or claws. It's a selfless act of familial defense that seems all the more noble considering the heartless nature of the assault."
Details of actual bear casualties are hard to come by, although Torsk notes that numerous cases have been found where "severe stomachaches" have been inflicted on bears forced to defend their families against excessively large populations of delicious, delicious salmon.
"We see these ursine compatriots, these noblest of creatures, just desperately cramming as many salmon into their mouths as they can," said Torsk, a tear glistening in the corner of his eye. "When will the madness end? Why does nobody do anything?"
Allegations that Russian salmon farms have been raising legions of the unholy piscine warriors, to decimate American charismatic megafauna such as the grizzlies, have surfaced as well in several well-regarded local newsletters in Alaska.
"On a clear day, I can see Russia from my house," said Prudence Malloy, of Wasilla, Alaska. "And I just know they're planning something involving fish. Salmon have red flesh, you know. Russia. Red. Coincidence? I think not."
Although no bears have fallen yet before the annual salmon invasion, scientists have documented significant weight gains among grizzlies who undergo the ordeal.
"If the fish can't get the bears quickly on the field of battle, they'll get them slowly with obesity and high blood pressure," said Torsk. "I don't mean to carp on the issue, but without legislation, these bears are up a creek without a paddle."