I was looking at something that nobody has observed in the British Isles for over 1,000 years. A bear, snoozing under an oak tree in a tract of ancient woodland.
At least, I was pretty sure it was a bear. I squinted and waited to make sure that I was looking at the right “lump of brown” that the ranger had pointed out. Then, the lump rolled over, as comedically lethargic as Winnie or Yogi, and fell back into a doze.
This isn’t the first time I’ve seen a bear perform this distinctive sidewards lollop. As a child I marvelled at brown bears while on a family holiday in western Canada. We stayed in a cabin in the woods, arriving by sea plane. I recall my dad had a can of pepper spray (thankfully, not needed) shoved in the side pocket of his backpack while he fished for our dinner, my brothers and I on strict instructions from mum to stay close.
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