Faced with an entire convenient store of choices, this bear burglar picked a curious candy to steal (video)

Originally published at: Faced with an entire convenient store of choices, this bear burglar picked a curious candy to steal (video) | Boing Boing


Perhaps this bear was thereby wisely avoiding the abundant theobromine…?


Four black bears that died in the New Hampshire woods last year overdosed on chocolate bait, wildlife officials said this week.

A necropsy by the University of New Hampshire showed the bears – two adult females and two cubs – died from too much theobromine, a chemical compound in cocoa that’s toxic to animals.

The bears were found dead in September within 50 feet of where a hunter said he placed 90 pounds of chocolate and doughnuts as bait, officials said.


Yo dawg. I heard you like bears. So we put bears in your bear.


“Roughly eight hours later, a bear matching the same description - black, furry, and round - was seen…”

That’s some hard hitting investigative reporting right there.


I hope they weren’t the haribo xylitol gummy bears. that could be messy.


Does a bear shit in the woods? Yes…frequently, and with a wide dispersal arc.


Theobromine is toxic to humans too – it’s just that for us, it’s hard to eat enough chocolate to reach the theobromine danger zone (several kilograms) without running into other problems first. It also depends on the type of chocolate; the darker the chocolate, the more theobromine in it.


yes… dosis sola facit venenum (the dose makes the poison) but there have been a number of studies which class caffeine as more toxic (per mg) than theobromine (here’s one of them and another also in rats) and we don’t want to go vilifying caffeine now, do we? [wink]

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I like chocolate a lot better than coffee, so don’t ask me :wink:

Incidentally, theobromine is why you shouldn’t let dogs eat chocolate – theobromine is a lot more toxic, at a milligrams-per-kilogram-of-bodyweight level, to dogs than it is to humans, and of course humans tend to weigh a lot more than most dogs in the first place. Theobromine is even more toxic to cats than dogs, but cats can’t taste sweetness and therefore chocolate doesn’t really appeal to them.

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We eat Jelly Babies, so why not?

surprised doctor who GIF

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Sad about the chocolate bait! Xylitol is deadly in fairly small doses to dogs and cats, so it could be to bears as well. But I’d bet few convenience stores carry anything as fancy and expensive as xylitol gummy bears. Anyways, please make sure that your xylitol candy, toothpaste, mouthwash, gum, etc is locked away from any cats, dogs, bears or probably most other mammals you might have in or around your house. No idea about birds, fish and lizards.

There was some ado recently about a brand of “sugar-free” gummy bears sold in a German drug store chain. These contain 75% maltitol (which is related to xylitol), a popular sweetener which in higher doses works as a laxative. Some consumers of the gummy bears have now found out about the latter effect, to their considerable discomfort.

It seems that these are not exactly a niche product (the chain in question is fairly big in Germany), and of course many parents may (perhaps naively) prefer “sugar-free” sweets to ones containing sugar due to the widespread vilification of sugar especially for small children.

The gummy bear package apparently has a warning saying that the gummy bears “can have a laxative effect” after eating five of them, and that they should be kept out of reach of children – but who (especially kids) reads notices on sweet packages, and also, seriously, five gummy bears?? Usually when people eat gummy bears they don’t stop after four, they stop when the bag is empty.

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