Smarter than the average bear…

Sometimes you just have to let a thing be what it is:


Quote by a forest ranger at Yosemite on why it is hard to design the perfect garbage bin to keep bears from breaking into it: "There is considerable overlap between the intelligence of the smartest bears and the dumbest tourists."

Yo, Semite! That is one great park ranger quote.


  1. lumipuna says

    There must be some complicating factors. For example, if the trash bin has an opening near the top, gravity makes it easier to get the trash in than out. OTOH, the average bear is a LOT more motivated in getting the trash out than the average tourist is in getting the trash in.

  2. kestrel says

    @lumipuna: I may have missed your point, but I think what the forest ranger is trying to say here is that tourists do some pretty dumbass things – like, for example, climbing into a trash bin. Then the forest rangers have to get them out. I’m involved with a state park here that has a dam, and there are all sorts of devices and design elements for keeping people from climbing in to the outlet of the dam, climbing up the gigantic sort of culvert the water comes through etc. Places a person would think people would stay away from, but we already know they won’t. We also had to really seriously secure all the instruments on the dam that are read to keep track of what is happening inside the dam, and we’ve already had vandalism on these instruments and may need to replace some of our locks. So far, at least, the various pipes and so on have not been damaged too severely. Unfortunately, when you’re dealing with the public, you kind of have to assume the worst.

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