Public officials and amateur biologists are tracking ominous reports this summer of a frightening invasive species, which has been tentatively named Homo moronicus Central Oregoniensis.
The creature reportedly is elusive and rarely encountered in its natural habitat. However, campers, hikers and others who claim to have observed it in the wild describe it as similar in appearance to Homo Neanderthalensis, except that it's stupider, smells worse and has inferior personal grooming.
While personal contacts with Homo moronicus are, fortunately, rare, evidence of its presence is encountered all too frequently.
Such evidence principally consists of tracks - typically made by oversized 4x4 truck or ATV tires plowing hub-deep through wetlands and other natural areas - and the creature's campsites, which are easily distinguished from human campsites by the presence of numerous empty cans of PBR, Coors, Budweiser and various other malt beverages.
Acts of apparently purposeless violence and destruction also are a characteristic behavior of Homo moronicus Central Oregoniensis, such as the random shooting of birds, cats and dogs and the vandalizing of signs, buildings, or anything else that happens to be handy.
One recent notorious example of such behavior occurred late last month, when one or more individuals peeled the bark off the trunks of a number of maple trees in Bend's McKay Park and Drake Park, resulting in the death of the trees. No suspects have yet been apprehended, but the senseless nature of the act clearly identifies it as the work of Homo moronicus Central Oregoniensis.
It's currently a matter of debate among biologists whether Homo moronicus Central Oregoniensis is a year-round resident of this area or is migratory. The most plausible theory seems to be that many specimens live here year-round (perhaps going into hibernation or semi-hibernation during the winter) while others invade seasonally from points south, north, east and west. In any case, it's indisputable that the destructive and violent activities of the creature increase markedly in the summer months.
It's also a matter of dispute whether Homo moronicus Central Oregoniensis is indigenous or a "transplant" from elsewhere. Detractors of California like to point to that state as the likely point of origin of this loathsome species. However, credible reports of typical Homo moronicus behavior in Central Oregon date back 50 or more years, appearing to discredit the "California genesis" theory.
Unfortunately, officials say there's little or nothing that can be done to stop the depredations of Homo moronicus unless the creatures can be caught in the act - a notoriously difficult undertaking. Individuals who observe the creatures engaging in their characteristic behavior are urged not to intervene personally since Homo moronicus can be dangerous, especially when armed and lubricated with large amounts of Coors and Jack Daniels. Instead, citizens should contact law enforcement authorities as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, although we realize it will have no impact on the rhinoceros-like hide of the Homo moronicus butt, we're delivering a steel-toed BOOT to it anyway - just because it feels so damn good.