I don’t know if you caught the parody in the title of today’s post, but it is there if you know where to look. There have been several reality based shows called “When Animals Attack”. These shows demonstrated the danger in working with large, predatory animals. This post isn’t about those shows. While there is always an element of danger in working with lions, tigers, or bears, most people take the proper precautions so these attacks are the exception rather than the rule. No, today’s post is about humans who circumvent these safeguards and then reap the inevitable results. And let me tell you in looking for stories to relate, well there are too many of them. That’s how stupid people are.
Several years ago the Anchorage, Alaska zoo had a polar bear named Binky. Not the best name for a polar bear which could explain the bear’s apparent anger issues. Binky is a perfectly fine name for a french poodle or an entitle socialite, but not a male polar bear. Anyway, Binky didn’t like having people in his cage. The zoo employees didn’t like having people in Binky’s cage either, funny coincidence I know, but there you go. To that end the zoo put bars and safety rails, etc around Binky’s enclosure. That didn’t stop an Australian woman from climbing the rails to get a closer picture. You see that shoe in Binky’s mouth. That’s the woman’s shoe. Binky carried it in his mouth for three days like a trophy. He may have kept it longer but the keepers took it from him. He next, allegedly, mauled a drunk 19-year who decided to go swimming with the polar bears. At the times of the attacks several people wanted Binky put down, claiming that he was an dangerous animal. My response? Well, duh! He was a full-grown, male polar bear of course he was dangerous! These people had to go out of their way to get mauled. In my book they had it coming. Check out Binky’s wikipedia page. You can also find Binky over at the Darwin Awards. If you want to see video of Binky attacking the Australian woman there is video over at Animal Planet, but be warned it is rather graphic.
Berlin Zoo Incident
Seriously, check out this video:
This woman climbed into the polar enclosure at the Berlin Zoo, she did not fall in by accident, or get pushed. She made the conscious choice to climb into the enclosure. I don’t know if you’ve been to a zoo in a while, but the enclosures where they keep the dangerous, and not so dangerous, animals are very difficult to access. What possess a person to decide that, even though these animals consider us meals on wheels, they are the exception to the rule? Can you imagine the surprise this woman experienced when the bears started attacking. What did she think would happen? Polar bears are not known for being cute and cuddly, except maybe when they are cub, but then you have to watch out for mama bear. She will maul you to death just for giving her cubs a funny look.
Prospect Park Zoo
The story of the boy being mauled to death by polar bears at a zoo in Brooklyn is indeed tragic, but also incredibly stupid. The boy and two friends scaled two fences just to get into the enclosure. First they got past the outer fence the one that goes around the zoo. Then they got past the one around the polar bears’ enclosure and all that just to go wading in the moat in the enclosure, the one the bears have access to. The poor kid was killed, but what makes this story even more tragic is that the bears were killed as well. What I think I like most about this particular article is the following quote:
Animal behavioral experts said the two bears had behaved naturally when they attacked the child. “They’re predators and extremely dangerous animals in the wild, and there’s no reason to believe they’d be less so in captivity,” said Dr. Peter Borchelt, an animal behavioral consultant in Forest Hills, Queens.
Seriously, there must be better places to go wading even in Brooklyn. You know places that are conspicuous by their complete lack of polar bears.
Moral of Our Story
So just what is the moral of our story? If you can’t tell what it is…then I expect to see you shortly on the news as another cautionary tale for future generations to learn from.