Brilliant teens trespass in zoo to pet bear, post video online

Ah, teens. Love them or hate them, they’re still an unavoidable part of the human life cycle. As such, we’re stuck with them — at least until science creates a way to put humans into stasis from the ages of 13 to 19.

But maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss teens. While they do cause everyone, from each other to parents to teachers and beyond, undue grief, they also get into unbelievably silly trouble. Case in point: a recent selfie video some enterprising teens took at the Toronto Zoo.

Apparently upset by how lonely a polar bear cub named Humphrey looked, Toronto high school students Samuel Gonzalez and Georgianna Nagy jumped over one of the two barriers between visitors and the polar bear enclosure. They took a video of themselves petting the bear through a fence, which seems like a bad idea. It may be a cub, but it is, you know, a bear. We at the Albatross have spent a lot of time delineating The Bear Problem faced by Canadians, and can say with certainty that you don’t want to make it easier for bears to attack, even through a fence.

Staff at the Toronto Zoo agreed (maybe they’re familiar with our bear problem coverage), and warned the students not to trespass in the future. Makes sense. What makes less sense is that these teens, hopped up on hormones and social media as all teens are these days, posted a video of the incident to Instagram after being chastised twice by zoo staff. Maybe they posted it because, as Gonzalez told the Toronto Star, the staff “were really nice about it. We thought it was like a slap on the wrist or something.”

It was not a “slap on the wrist or something,” as Gonzalez initially thought. When students returned to Michael Power/St. Joseph High School the next week, they were reprimanded by the vice principal. They also claim teachers told them the entire school had been banned “for life” from the zoo. Zoo staff say this is not the case. This seems to imply that either a teacher completely misunderstood some communication and then relayed that to students, or that these incorrigible teens managed to extract even more drama from a situation entirely of their own creation.

The moral of this story is that teens are a scourge, possibly more of a scourge than bears. At least bears are somewhat confined by geography and climate. Teens are everywhere, making terrible decisions and documenting them on social media. If you have, know, or are a teen, there’s really not much hope except to wait it out. Good luck and may god have mercy on you.

[The Hamilton Spectator] [screencap via Toronto Zoo]

, ,