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Penn State Domesticates Black Bear Spotted On Campus For Research Study

Editor’s note: This story is part of Onward State’s April Fools series. It is satirical, meant for entertainment, and not to be taken literally. Any quotes were made up for the purpose of this post.

Sneezy the Squirrel won’t be the only furry friend you’ll be seeing around campus anymore.

Penn State President Eric Barron issued a statement Thursday that explained details of the College of Agriculture’s latest research study, which involves the domestication of the black bear spotted on campus in September.

As you take your daily walk on Pollock Road, you’ll probably run into the bear itself, whose name is “Bearron.”

According to a release, the Animal, Veterinary, & Biomedical Sciences Building construction is nearing completion, so the university wanted to devise a creative way to publicize the state-of-the-art research building.

Perhaps you’re worried about the danger of a wild animal roaming around campus unattended. Well, fear not!

In the last five months, Bearron has been living in the basement of President Barron’s home and has been receiving physical and psychological training via Zoom on how to not devour students around campus.

Penn State researchers record and post lectures each day for Bearron to watch. Just like students at Penn State, he’s definitely watching them intently! And if not, well…you better run.

The new domestication method has led to incredible results. Bearron is capable of understanding basic commands, including “sit,” “stay,” and “roll over.” He also raises his paws and claws if you yell “We Are!” at him. Over the next few weeks, his training should accomplish more advanced commands such as, “Go help the North Atherton construction workers.”

When asked why he wanted to help out with the study, Barron said that he loved bears growing up. When he heard of an opportunity to be in close contact with a bear, he simply “had to take advantage of the opportunity.”

“I grew up watching and reading Winnie The Pooh stories. That bear was the shit,” Barron said. “Ever since then, my favorite animal has been a bear. They’re so cute, yet ferocious, just like me. I love the duality of the Ursidae.”

At this time, the Nittany Lion will remain as the Penn State mascot. However, a Change.org petition has already garnered more than 4,000 signatures from students and alumni to change the mascot to Bearron the Black Bear.

Additionally, to help fund Bearron’s extended stay at Penn State, the Berkey Creamery has launched a slew of flavored kinds of honey, which are now for sale in-store and online.

In the first few weeks, Bearron will remain on a leash, just like the cute children in the Penn State daycare. Eventually, he’ll be let loose and could be spotted anywhere from Old Main Lawn, Thomas 100, and the Library Starbucks.

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About the Author

Charles Reinert

Charles Reinert is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. He's from Norristown, PA and enjoys a good slice of pepperoni pizza and a brisk fall afternoon. He can be found either yelling at the Eagles through the TV during football season or playing his guitar. If you have any questions for him or want to challenge him to a 1v1 on the basketball court, you can follow him on Twitter @charles_rein10 or email him at [email protected]

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