Culture

Videos Show That Bears In This Mexican Park Are Getting Way Too Close For Comfort

Imagine you’re out taking a stroll in nature, trying to get some fresh air amid all of this chaos. You feel something brush your back and you turn to look behind you and there’s a massive bear.

Well that’s exactly what’s happened on at least two occasions (both of which have been caught on video) in a park outside of Monterrey, Mexico. Groups of hikers are coming into increased contact with Black Bears as they enter more populated areas to search for food and water.

Although the videos look amazing and have quickly gone viral, this bear is getting way too close for comfort.

It all started when a video went viral showing a Black Bear standing up and smelling a woman’s hair.

A series of videos have gone viral on Mexican Twitter as they show a Black Bear getting way too close for comfort to hikers outside Monterrey. The first video showed a group of women hiking the trails of Monterrey’s Chipinque Ecological Park when they got some unwanted attention from a highly curious Black Bear.

The medium-sized bear, captured on a 59-second video, can be seen sniffing the women’s legs and torsos and in one case, getting up on its hind legs and placing its front paws on a woman’s shoulders as it sniffs her hair.

The women in the video appear to do a good job at following the advice from experts to protect themselves from any aggressive behavior. They remained calm and still and waited until the bear left to begin to move. However, the video does also show one of the women attempting to take a selfie as the bear sniffs her hair – not sure how she remained so calm?!

It turns out, the bear has approached another hiker in the same area.

Then, just a few days later, the same bear (identified by a marker on its ear) had another close encounter with another woman at the same park – where such interactions with humans are occurring on an increasingly frequent basis. 

In a video clip of Tuesday’s incident, a woman is approached by the medium-sized bear who sniffs her and lightly paws at her while her husband films the scene, urging her to stay calm. “What should I do?” the woman asks the man, who replies, “Don’t move, stay there.” 

The man remarks that the bear appears very playful, but the tension in his voice escalates as the bear grabs the woman’s leg with its paw. “Bear, bear, come here,” the man says before the clip ends.

Park officials are concerned and say this isn’t natural behavior.

Credit: Paul Farrower / Getty Images

Bears are typically terrified of people. Attacks are very rare. So this type of approach by the Black Bear is considered abnormal behavior caused by human beings. Park representatives said in a statement that “the interaction shown in the video should have been avoided; what is recommended is to move away when detecting the presence of the bear and not approach.”

The bear in question has already been captured twice and released at the request of neighbors, the park said, but as the animal appears to have lost all fear of humans, it will need to be recaptured and sent either to a zoo or an area less populated by people. 

Gustavo Treviño, general director of Parks and Wildlife in Nuevo León, told the newspaper Milenio that 26 bear sightings have been reported in the municipalities of San Pedro, Santa Catarina and Monterrey. He urged citizens to avoid all contact with them and not to feed them or take photos.

The incidents took place outside Monterrey and officials say bears are quite common in the area.

Credit: Humane Society of U.S.

Bear sightings are quite common in this part of Mexico. The two incidents took place in Chipinque Park, which is part of the larger Cumbres de Monterrey National Park in the eastern Sierra Madre mountains.

According to experts, this type of sighting is not unusual in the park during certain times of the year, when bears come down from the mountains in search of food and water. The bears even appear in residential areas.

Black bears are considered to be an endangered species in Mexico, due to the destruction of their habitat and illegal hunting. However, its only protected population is in Sierra del Burro, part of the eastern Sierra Madre mountain range which lies in the state of Coahuila.

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Mexican Politician Accused Of Rape Vows To Block Elections Unless He’s Allowed To Run

Things That Matter

Mexican Politician Accused Of Rape Vows To Block Elections Unless He’s Allowed To Run

FRANCISCO ROBLES/AFP via Getty Images

It’s an election year in Mexico and that means that things are heating up as candidates fight for the top spot. At the same time, Mexico is experiencing a burgeoning fight for women’s rights that demands accountability and justice. Despite all the marches and protests and civil disobedience by hundreds of thousands of Mexicans, it remains to be seen how much change will happen and when. 

Case in point: Félix Salgado, a candidate for governor of Guerrero who has been accused of rape and sexual assault but maintains the support of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO). Now, after being disqualified from the race because of undisclosed campaign finances, the candidate is vowing to block any elections from taking place unless he is allowed to continue his campaign. 

A disqualified candidate is vowing to block elections unless he’s allowed to run.

Félix Salgado was running to be governor of the Mexican state of Guerrero when he was faced with allegations of rape and sexual assault. The commission that selects party candidates allowed him to remain in the race and he continues to maintain the support of President AMLO – who is of the same political party, Morena. 

However, in late March, election regulators ordered that Salgado be taken off the ballot due to a failure to report campaign spending, according to the AP. Mexico’s electoral court ordered the Federal Electoral Institute (FEI) to reconsider their decision last week. Salgado is already threatening to throw the election process into chaos.

“If we are on the ballot, there will be elections,” Salgado told supporters in Guerrero after leading a caravan of protestors to the FEI’s office in Mexico City on Sunday. “If we are not on the ballot, there will not be any elections,” Salgado said.

The AP notes that Salgado is not making an empty threat. Guerrero is an embattled state overrun with violence and drug gangs and many elections have been previously disrupted. Past governors have been forced out of office before finishing their terms. Salgado was previously filmed getting into a confrontation with police in 2000.

It was just weeks ago that the ruling party allowed Salgado’s candidacy to move forward.

In mid-March, Morena confirmed that Félix Salgado would be its candidate for governor in Guerrero after completing a new selection process in which the former senator was reportedly pitted against four women.

Morena polled citizens in Guerrero last weekend to determine levels of support for five different possible candidates, according to media reports. Among the four women who were included in the process were Acapulco Mayor Adela Román and Senator Nestora Salgado.

Félix Salgado was the clear winner of the survey, even coming out on top when those polled were asked to opine on the potential candidates’ respect for the rights of women. He also prevailed in all other categories including honesty and knowledge of the municipality in which the poll respondents lived.

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Mexico City Could Soon Change Its Name To Better Embrace Its Indigenous Identity

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Mexico City Could Soon Change Its Name To Better Embrace Its Indigenous Identity

PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images

Mexico City is the oldest surviving capital city in all of the Americas. It also is one of only two that actually served as capitals of their Indigenous communities – the other being Quito, Ecuador. But much of that incredible history is washed over in history books, tourism advertisements, and the everyday hustle and bustle of a city of 21 million people.

Recently, city residents voted on a non-binding resolution that could see the city’s name changed back to it’s pre-Hispanic origin to help shine a light on its rich Indigenous history.

Mexico City could soon be renamed in honor of its pre-Hispanic identity.

A recent poll shows that 54% of chilangos (as residents of Mexico City are called) are in favor of changing the city’s official name from Ciudad de México to México-Tenochtitlán. In contrast, 42% of respondents said they didn’t support a name change while 4% said they they didn’t know.

Conducted earlier this month as Mexico City gears up to mark the 500th anniversary of the fall of the Aztec empire capital with a series of cultural events, the poll also asked respondents if they identified more as Mexicas, as Aztec people were also known, Spanish or mestizo (mixed indigenous and Spanish blood).

Mestizo was the most popular response, with 55% of respondents saying they identified as such while 37% saw themselves more as Mexicas. Only 4% identified as Spaniards and the same percentage said they didn’t know with whom they identified most.

The poll also touched on the city’s history.

The ancient city of Tenochtitlán.

The same poll also asked people if they thought that the 500th anniversary of the Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlán by Spanish conquistadoresshould be commemorated or forgotten, 80% chose the former option while just 16% opted for the latter.

Three-quarters of respondents said they preferred areas of the the capital where colonial-era architecture predominates, such as the historic center, while 24% said that they favored zones with modern architecture.

There are also numerous examples of pre-Hispanic architecture in Mexico City including the Templo Mayor, Tlatelolco and Cuicuilco archaeological sites.

Tenochtitlán was one of the world’s most advanced cities when the Spanish arrived.

Tenochtitlán, which means “place where prickly pears abound” in Náhuatl, was founded by the Mexica people in 1325 on an island located on Lake Texcoco. The legend goes that they decided to build a city on the island because they saw the omen they were seeking: an eagle devouring a snake while perched on a nopal.

At its peak, it was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas. It subsequently became a cabecera of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Today, the ruins of Tenochtitlán are in the historic center of the Mexican capital. The World Heritage Site of Xochimilco contains what remains of the geography (water, boats, floating gardens) of the Mexica capital.

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