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.