VICTORIA, TX – Last week, the small Texas town of Victoria celebrated completion of its 700 million dollar construction project assuring that every residence and building will be “Bear free, now and forever.” The project, referred to as Bear-Be-Gone, took 12 years to complete during which there was not a single bear attack within the city limits.
“We already have proof that all this is working,” said Victoria Mayor Elden Star. “Since we started this here thing, there ain’t been a single bear attack, let alone a bear spottin’. All them bears must be taken notes that we don’t take kindly to bears around here.”
Bear-Be-Gone was started by Janice and Ned Romley after their then five-year-old son was almost attacked by a bear while the family was vacationing in Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park.
“Our little baby saw that bear coming and just screamed like the dickens. If we wouldn’t have been paying attention, that darn bear coulda eaten our little baby alive!” Janice Romley said. “Thank god there was that fence there too. And to top that off, when we got back to the hotel we saw where some bear had just come right into town and killed a dog somewheres in Colorado. Well we said that there ain’t no way we’ll stand for that and the second we got home we started this here initiative to keep bears out of our town forever. Listen up you bears, you ain’t welcome in Victoria!”
Voters passed the bill giving the go ahead to the Bear-Be-Gone project in 1989. A 25% tax increase was necessary to complete the project.
“Sure we had to pay higher taxes fer awhile but I tell you what, you see any bears around here? That’s what I thought. I ain’t seen a bear in years,” said resident Tom Wrangler.
The Bear-Be-Gone project consists of a three level defense system. The first level is a 20-foot high, four feet-thick cement wall surrounding the city. On each side of the wall is 20 feet of razor wire. There are two armed gates which residents and tourists can enter and exit as they see fit. The next level of defense is a series of Bear Patrol helicopters, which search 24 hours a day for any indication that a bear may have broken through the fence. The final line of defense is that ever building and street has been raised off the ground 40 feet, with concrete cylinders holding each building off the ground.
Although there has never been a bear attack in Victoria, nor are there any bears within 200 miles of the town, residents are pleased with the project.
“It’s just a better sense of security. I know for a fact that no bear will ever eat my children or get into my trash. How many other Americans can say that? Well, everyone here in Victoria can,” said Wrangler.