The Camonbear Pickle

The Camonbear Pickle
The Camonbear Pickle


• Pinch of turtle heid
• One large lump of bear
• A large sieve like bear catcher
• Little splash of imminent death

Three words to sum up this first almost overwhelming six months working and living in a Bolivian animal refuge?

The bear’s escaped.

“WHAT THE F***”!? *I guess either of these combinations could do.

I order my tour, including new volunteers as well as guests back inside the human enclosure *we have one of those!- Then run like the proverbial bat into the jungle and towards the bear enclosure wielding a stick.. A stick! Is this for her to use as a tooth pick to scrape my mutilated body parts from between her teeth? On the way I trade with a vet for one of those loop things for putting around the neck of a bear.. Hang on, I’ve just been done!

She’s been found around the back of her enclosure and I join one of the owners and stand now only two meters from a potentially dangerous Andean spectacle bear. In my effort to understand the mechanics of the contraption I hold, I have managed to break my bear catching instrument. Probably for the best. I now hold it like a weapon.

Two vets position themselves meters from behind our escapee armed with a blow dart. A fence to my left and a steep slope to my right, I have a moment to think on what direction she may run.

The refuge manager and potential fellow victim in a few moments throws a few more peanuts to keep her attention as the vets prepare to unleash. Pfffft. That simple.

YAHHH! Leaps from my throat as I point my glorified stick towards a bear and she does halt, turn towards the vets then bolts down and through her fence. Problem solved and latest near death experience in the bag.

And so just how exactly did a bear manage to escape?
It ran through the locked door *of course. Snapped the bottom half we think after receiving an electric shock from the fence. The very thing put there to keep her in became her key to freedom if only briefly.

What a tour that was. “Yeah, sorry about that people. You know how it is? Just another day in the jungle”!


1 Comment

  • Hazel Ritchie Posted May 25, 2017 2:54 pm

    Very funny and different. Entertaining.


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