As some of you may have heard, during the early morning of May 10th, the Mo’Pweeze family had an interesting encounter with some of the local wildlife. While reporting of the incident has seeming exploded much beyond anything we could have anticipated, much of the details have been lost or neglected by many in our online community. For a fairly accurate rendering of how things went down, reporter Ali Bauman of CBS news seems to have captured it the best, CBS NY News
Nonetheless, many of you would like to know more and get some insight as to how this went down so here we go.
Wednesday the 9th was a typical late night at our bakery. In trying to get a head start on the following morning. 24 cupcakes that were a bit past there shelf life, were packaged up to be brought to the Market St mission in Morristown, were we regularly donate items rather than add them to the waste stream. While the cupcakes are by no means stale, they are not as fresh as someone coming in to the bakery would expect to pay for a premium product. Lacking in eggs, dairy milk and other readily spoiled ingredients, our cupcakes have a long shelflife in their air tight containers with or without refrigeration. We only recommend their refrigeration to maximize retail life both at the store and for wholesale presentation.
On arrival at home, our lovely head baker Chris Allen, simply forgot the presence of the cupcakes in the trunk as none of us are blessed with a perfect memory especially when exhausted and many other business related items on the mind. Some have accused us of baiting the intrepid bear, but really, who would do that to themselves? Being early spring, we are used to seeing bears roaming around and are very aware to keep a safe and respectable distance from our woodland friends.
We previously encountered our bear friend 2 weeks earlier when he managed to break through our fence, through our locked and latched enclosed basement where we keep our garbage, supposedly out of the reach of bears. In the 10 years we have lived there, and as far as we know during the time of the previous owners, a bear has never been so intrepid. The morning after he entered our basement, we awoke to him roaming the yard, and on his exit, he broke our fence as can be seen in the videos, and that afternoon he returned and broke the other side of our fence as well. None of this was reported, as this was simply life bordering the wilderness.
Back to the early morning of May 10, our intrepid friend returned and incredibly to us, sought out the cupcakes from the trunk of our SUV. He broke and entered through a side window, extracted the box from the trunk, and proceeded to feast himself on our lawn during the night. We awoke upon hearing our pup bark, but after seeing his dark shape outside, and no evidence of further entry into our basement area, assumed he was lunching on a neighbors garbage, and we returned to sleep to clean up in the morning.
The following morning, we awoke and saw the extensive damage to the window and began cleaning up the mess. We have since learned what super noses bears have, and certainly would not have chanced such an encounter if we knew of their superpowers. Without knowledge of what to do in such a situation having never experienced this type of intrusion, we were advised to report the damage to 911 so they would have it on record. Though we are vegan and animal lovers, the categorization of bears, and procedures on reporting of bears are unbeknownst to us. That simply is not our area of expertise or knowledge.
When the officers arrived, they took notes, advised us that there had been other break ins in the area (not necessarily the same animal), and they would categorize the bear into Category 1. When we found out what that meant, we asked that the bear not be harmed and be relocated if and when he was found. We followed up with the NJ Fish and Wildlife Division and were told by the representative that since we had asked for his relocation that it would be noted and no harm would come to the animal. We were offered traps and the like, but politely declined. It seems there is some distrust in the community over the Divisions goals and processes, but as we are new to this, we assumed they were honest in their statements.
This would all have remained a very strange morning for us and have been the end of it, however we were contacted by a local reporter regarding the incident and you may find his report here
We did not seek out the press, but on recounting a broad overview of the incident and on posting the story, this incident has taken on a life of its own and has been spread far and wide. It seems to be a very timely topic as there have been multiple bear incidents in suburban areas this year, and so we’ve been approached by many news channels to tell our story. It was important for us, to relay through the power of the media, that we wish the bear to not be harmed but with human life at risk as well, we would rather more people become knowledgeable about bear interactions. In honor of our new intrepid friend we created a bear shaped cupcake name ‘Teddy’, with the sales proceeds being donated to The BEAR Group who educate about the interactions of bears and people.
That our friends is the story of how Mo’Pweeze Bakery and ‘Teddy’ the bear ended up on the news.
We wish you all a happy, bear encounter free day.
Christine + Adrian