To the 600 or so attendees of the annual Enstone Show, staged in the beautiful Oxfordshire Cotswolds, the site of three bear cubs playing and frolicking in front of them was a special treat. The experience led most attendees to bombard the local firm supplying the bears, Amazing Animals, with questions regarding bears in general. This is how it has often worked. Audio-visual experiences inspire individuals to seek out information and there are few experiences better than those that are live. “This is not entertainment it is education” were apparently the exact words of one of the lucky attendees who saw the attraction on 23rd August, echoing the words of the Enstone Show’s organizer, Kate Farquar-Thompson. “They’re certainly enjoying themselves” said one of the two newspaper photographers on the day according to an Astley’s Legacy source present on the day. The same source confirmed that both photographers seemed to be very positive about the appearance of the bear cubs and the photographs that have come to light appear to show three very healthy young specimens of the species Ursos arctos actively engaged in healthy activities.
Sadly for a vocal minority and a sensationalist press outside of this charming, educational and enriching experience took the usual route of decrying the event as if it were some terrible medieval atrocity. The supposed middle market paper, The Daily Mail, which really should give up the pretence and put a big red banner to show its true place amongst the other sensationalist tabloids, carried the headline in its 25th August hard copy edition: Bears paraded in cages for crowd’s amusement. Albania? China? No, a Cotswold village fete (It should be noted that that was a somewhat different tone to the online story they ran ahead).