Bear in NIH tree sets Twitter aflutter

first_imgBudget cuts. Infectious disease. Conflict of interest scandals. Bioterrorism. Just when the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) thought it had faced just about every conceivable problem, today a black bear (Ursus americanus) took shelter in one of the pine trees on its sprawling campus in Bethesda, Maryland.At about midday, NIH employees received an e-mail telling them about the bear (which apparently breached NIH’s security fence, built after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks). Local police, media, and animal control officials soon descended, according to media reports. Soon, Twitter was abuzz with bear reports and jokes.“OMG the bear is at NIH! The bear does not have appropriate identification!” tweeted ‏@sarahrodeo.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)“I’m sure he’s trying to find parking,” speculated ‏@SofiaL246.The bear even appeared to have his own Twitter handle—@NIH_Bear. “I’m not a bear! I’m Senior Faculty here to grumble about funding lines!!” came a tweet from the account, suspiciously also marked “@NIHDirector.”“It’s summertime. I need to fatten up,” read another @NIH_Bear dispatch. “Please send more junior investigators. #yum.”“Who among you has not, when funding decisions weren’t going your way, climbed a tree on the @NIH campus and eaten a librarian?” @NIH_Bear asked.“I want Collins, in a scuba-suit, with an R01 and a budget-cap waiver,” @NIH_Bear demanded at one point. (Francis Collins is NIH’s director; an R01 is the agency’s bread-and-butter grant.)After local media reported that officials were firing fireworks to scare the bear out of the tree, and considering using tranquilizing darts, ‏@DigitalDistrict had this very inside-the-beltway suggestion: “Instead of tranqs, just hold a 2 hour budget meeting underneath the tree. Guaranteed sedation.”The bear had been tranquilized and was awaiting transport off the NIH campus as this item went to press.Black bears have become increasingly frequent visitors to the Washington, D.C., suburbs, where NIH is located, as a result of booming populations.(Video courtesy of WJLA)last_img

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