This State Is Now Hiring Professional Bear Huggers
You have until March 30 to apply.
New Mexico is officially "hiring professional bear huggers," and I'm not even making this dream job up.
In a recent Facebook post, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish advertised the new job opening, saying that it is now hiring for professional bear huggers, indeed. The post soon caught the attention of the internet masses, who then rushed to the job listing.
You shouldn't be a rookie to the outdoors to be considered for the role of one of New Mexico's newest conservation officers. As the department points out, candidates "must have ability to hike in strenuous conditions, have the courage to crawl into a bear den, and have the trust in your coworkers to keep you safe during the process." Put another way, this is not for everyone.
In addition to Crocodile Dundee-like life skills, there are also a few other bureaucratic requirements you must meet in order to be considered. Candidates must have a bachelor's degree in biological sciences, police science or law enforcement, forestry, ecology or other related fields, and they must pass a physical training test. Additionally, they'll also have to pass written, medical and psychological examinations, and if that wasn't enough, there is also a job interview for you to face.
If selected, expect a pretty tough-yet-rewarding year. New Mexico's new conservation officer trainees will undergo roughly a year of training for a variety of skills, including firearms, hunter education, boat operation, patrol skills, and, of course, wildlife handling. Plus, you get onboarding with training at the Southeastern New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy and 14 weeks of field training under the supervision of another conservation officer.
Applications for the next class of conservation officers are now open, and you have until March 30 to apply. For more information and to submit your application, you can visit this link.
Jokes aside, the department isn't encouraging the public to go out in the wild and casually hug bears—that could take a very negative turn very quickly, especially if you're not a fast runner.
"P.S. we do not recommend crawling into bear dens. This was part of a research project in Northern New Mexico and all bears were handled safely under supervision," the department pointed out, referring to the post's photos. "If you do, our officers will have to have a chat with you."