Sunday, March 7, 2010

Do Not Feed The Bears

From the files of "Really? I'm shocked." we have this little gem from htrnews.com: "An Asiatic black bear at Lincoln Park Zoo bit off all or parts of four fingers from the hand of a 47-year-old woman Friday after she went past barriers and was trying to feed the animal." Uh-huh. And?

Don't get me wrong. I understand why this is news. I just don't understand why it isn't portrayed as the news that it really is. The news that it really is would be that this moronic woman ignored all sorts of signs and barriers at the zoo warning people (including her, I would imagine) to stay away from the cages containing said bears. The news that it really is would be that despite repeated signage and repeated warnings and the continued presence of the bears, this woman went ahead and decided to feed them a little snack. (No word on whether or not a pick-in-ick bas-KET was involved. Boo-boo was unavailable for comment.) I'm not so sure that it's news that a bear (which is a wild animal, don't you know) bit the woman's hand and bit off her fingers. That doesn't seem like it's news, per se.

But it's being treated like news. And it is just what it sounds like it is. (By the way, in the same way that it sounds like what it is, police say that alcohol may have been involved. Again, I'm shocked. Someone help me sit down.) What did the woman think was going to happen? It's a freaking BEAR, for crying out loud!

But here's the part that gets me. According to a one Aaron Buchholz, a wildlife biologist with the the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, "It appears at this point the bears will be saved,"...meaning not euthanized." What?

Why would the bear be euthanized? Because it went all bear on the woman?! How much sense does that make? The woman is moronic enough to stick her hand inside of the bear cage, the bear acts like a bear and eats her fingers off and it's the bear who should be euthanized?! Does it make me a bad person if I ask why we're not talking about euthanizing someone that dense?


Instead of euthanizing the bears who were just acting like bears, the woman, a one Tracy Weiler and her boyfriend, a one Lawrence Bosworth, have both "...agreed to undergo a series of preventative rabies vaccines, he said. The bears will be observed for a few days for signs of rabies." Wait. The bears will be observed for signs of rabies? Umm, look. I'm not a zookeeper. I'm certainly not a bearkeeper. But if you've got a couple of bears in a zoo, shouldn't you already know whether or not they have rabies? I'm not so certain that the "Rabid Bear Display" would go over all that well with animal activists and with most humans when you put it that way!

Apparently "State law requires wild animals to be euthanized if they bite someone unless the victim agrees to the vaccinations." Ohhhh. OK. So it's just a matter of a ridiculously stupid law. If the "victim" agrees to be vaccinated against something that the animal probably doesn't have, then the animal gets to live. BUT, if the "victim" doesn't want to go through the rabies shots, then the animal, who was only acting like an animal, gets put down. That's a fine, fine law you've got going for yourself there, Wisconsin. A fine, fine, bass-ackwards law there. What is wrong with people?

Do you know what the rabies testing involves? Just out of curiosity? I'd never thought much about it before. But fortunately, the fine people at htrnews.com gave us the low down. "...if the animals were put down they (the "victims") would have had to pay for euthanizing the bears and sending their heads to the state laboratory for testing as well as for replacing the bears." Huh.

Why the heads? It's just the heads. Who does that testing? The bear head testing for rabies? I'm guessing you need a degree or a certificate or something. And I can't even begin to imagine what the bear replacement costs would be. You'd have to go through all of the trouble of looking at potential replacement bears, maybe hiring a replacement bear locator service, etc. There's so many factors to consider. I'm guessing that just having rabies vaccinations is a much cheaper way to go as opposed to lopping off the bear's heads, having them tested and then replacing them. Much, much cheaper.

What's the moral of this story? I guess it's the obvious "Don't feed the bears." But can we please start to change the attitude of how these stories are looked upon when a wild animal in captivity acts like a wild animal in captivity and attacks someone? Can't we start to look at these things as being the fault of the humans involved and not the fault of the animals involved? If you're dumb enough to go past a sign that says "Don't go past this sign or you're going to get your fingers eaten off by that there bear" (or something to that effect), can't we repeatedly make it about that instead of about the bears? Please? It's no fun to be stupid, kids. It makes life hard. And your life is going to get a lot harder if you're stupid AND you're missing a bunch of fingers (especially a thumb). Much, much harder.

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2 comments:

Viagra Online said...

I know sometimes people don't read the big signs or just don't want to, they actually ignore the signs and feed the animals, I went to Guatemala and I went to a local zoo and people fed animals even if there were big obvious signs warning not to. I think that people don't think about the hazardous consequences their behavior could cause when being in contact with wild animals

Mare said...

Hi, V.O.

Yeah, that's the part I don't get. How can you NOT think about a consequence when you're next to a wild animal. It's right there in the name: WILD animal. You never know what could happen. And yet people still ignore signs and then are shocked, completely SHOCKED, when they get a number of extremities bitten off.

Thanks for reading!

~ Mare