Tested by Bears
During the autumn and winter of 2002/2003, BearVault® made several prototypes which were impact-tested by the Sierra Inter agency Black Bear Group (SIBBG). By May 2003, we had a canister that was ready for the ultimate test: a trial stint with Fisher, the 560 pound black bear at the Folsom Zoo. Fisher, with his massive bulk and powerful jaws, had sent many designers back to the drawing board. It turned out, that is exactly what he did to this early BearVault® design as well. The SIBBG required the canister to last one full hour – but after just 8 minutes, Fisher had torn into the canister, and claimed his tasty reward of meat, peanut butter and jelly.
Undeterred, we revised and strengthened the canister design, and in July 2003 we re-tested the improved canister with Fisher. After 24 hours, he gave up. Wanting to see how much punishment the canister could endure, it was then immediately put into the cage of another large black bear named Sequoia. After an additional 24 hours the canister was removed from her enclosure, still intact. The BearVault® lasted 48 hours of abuse by two very large black bears, vastly exceeding the one hour requirement for certification.
Bear In Mind
As a human, you will appreciate how your BearVault® guards your food from animals and saves it for your own tummy. For bears, though, BearVault® plays a critical role in their own protection. Hungry bears, under ever-mounting land and resource pressure, sometimes resort to scavenging human food. When bears are rewarded by getting bits of food, and develop a habit of seeking human food, confrontations are more likely, and they are labeled “problem bears”. This is handled differently in various areas, but rarely does it end well for the bear. Sometimes bears are given a second chance with expensive relocation programs, but even then, bears will often find their way back to targeting human food or garbage. In the end, sadly, most problem bears are killed as a last resort.
To the extent you can prevent bears from being rewarded with human food, you are doing your part to help keep bears wild. In fact, this goes for all animals – keeping your food and trash secured from animal consumption will keep animals from developing aggressive or problematic habits.