Polar Bear Killed After Killing Student

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by renewed, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. renewed macrumors 68040

    renewed

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    #1
    I could think of a better title.

    Polar Bear Slain after acting on his natural behavior.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...ing-in-norway/2011/08/05/gIQALJoqwI_blog.html

    Look at this part:

    Oh, no! Let's go kill the evil polar bears before they take away all our future generations!

    /rant

    This just rubbed me the wrong way. You venture into their habitat, what do you expect?

    My question is:

    Does anyone else feel sorry for the bear?

    My opinion:

    It's tragic that a student died, however, I can't feel too sorry for him other than maybe he made a bad decision that led to his early passing.
     
  2. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

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    #2
    Horatio Chapple is quite possibly the poshest name I've ever heard.
     
  3. Heilage macrumors 68030

    Heilage

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    #3
    At Svalbard, you have to carry a rifle at all times, for one simple reason.

    There's polar bears everywhere!

    Well, what'cha gonna do. One shouldn't be surprised that one attacked.
     
  4. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #4
    I agree completely.
     
  5. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #5
    As I understand it the bear was killed during the attempt to stop it attacking the victims,this is not the same as executing it afterwards for the "crime" of killing a human,which as you say is part of it's natural behaviour. Having said that I do feel sorry for the bear.

    Lots of countries either do or have executed animals for crimes,including in the US hanging an elephant.
     
  6. HarryPot macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    And weren't the students acting like any human being would act? Defending themselves?

    As the poster above said, it would have been different if days later someone came to kill the bear.
     
  7. renewed thread starter macrumors 68040

    renewed

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    #7
    Defending themselves from what? They camped in Polar Bear country and then the polar bear acted natural. Defend themselves with their fists if you want it to be an all natural interaction of "self-defense".
     
  8. Lord Blackadder, Aug 8, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011

    Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #8
    Speaking as someone who's had bear behavior/defense training as part of my job (and a few run-ins with bears), it's a tragedy all around.

    Grizzlies and black bears rarely regard people as food - but polar bears are reasonably likely to consider you to be a funny-looking seal, i.e. dinner. Also polar bears are less likely to be deterred by people in groups. They are bigger, more aggressive, and generally much more dangerous to humans.

    My understanding was that it was a large group camp and that the proper precautions were taken. The bear was shot while attacking the victims, as peterkro mentioned.

    I know several people who have done various kinds of scientific fieldwork up there in the Spitsbergen area and elsewhere in polar bear habitats. While I totally sympathize with the animals I would always carry a rifle in polar bear country and would not hesitate to shoot one in order to protect myself or others. The only way to completely avoid these incidents is to vacate all polar bear habitats (and that includes native peoples), even avoiding scientific research in the areas where they live. For a number of reasons this is impracticable.

    Most bear encounters end well for both parties, especially when the bear is healthy and the people are taking proper precautions. This incident is the tragic exception to the rule.
     
  9. barkomatic macrumors 68040

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    #9
    That's a bit unreasonable. I'd shoot a bear if it attacked even if I was camping within its natural habitat. I'm certainly not going to get my throat ripped out to make a point.

    I'm not happy that the bear died and I don't consider it to have committed any "crime". People are allowed into natural habitats sometimes. However, knowing this they should not expect it to be perfectly safe.
     
  10. iStudentUK macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

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    #10
    Yes, I thought it was killed whilst attacking. I've got no problem with that, it's very different to hunting. A human's life trumps a bear's life.
     
  11. macquariumguy macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Not me. It's a bear. Not a person, a bear. It might be bear territory but it's man's planet and attacking man is dangerous. Bears should evolve a bit and learn that.
     
  12. mac jones macrumors 68040

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  13. (marc) macrumors 6502a

    (marc)

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    #13
    If it was shot in self defense it was the right thing to do, otherwise it was wrong.
     
  14. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    #14
    I thought this was a well written and well reasoned post. It caused me to reconsider my initial reaction to the story. My immediate reaction was to condemn the campers. While they could have made better choices, the Lord"s comments were very helpful re-evaluating my attitude in light of his comments.

    Thanks...
     
  15. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #15
    You could be correct, except that once an animal gets a taste of human flesh, and learns the ease to acquire it, it will continue to hunt humans.
     
  16. renewed thread starter macrumors 68040

    renewed

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    #16
    Maybe I am being unreasonable but my point is that there are some places that we as humans should understand are dangerous and shouldn't venture to. If we swam around killing every shark we saw as quick as we could then yeah we could feel safe in some waters, yet, we have respect for the power of sharks enough to just not swim in those waters.

    We could definitely kill every polar bear we see with a rifle and feel safe to go camp on ice caps but who is to say we should eliminate an entire species to be able to camp somewhere?

    The chance of being attacked by a bear should of been known and was it right to kill the bear when the attack occurred? Especially when it was a leisure activity and they weren't defending a bear from crawling in to their house back in the city.
     
  17. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #17
    But they got what they came for, an adventure to tell their Grand-children about. The ones that lived, anyway.
     
  18. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #18
    This attitude would stop the spread of any species into any new areas. We are always in somebody else's habitat.
     
  19. Daffodil macrumors 6502

    Daffodil

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    #19
    True as that may be, that's still no argument for indifference or inaction to their plight.

    I'm not trying to pull a slippery slope argument, I just would hate to see our generation left with only the memory of the remaining great wildlife. Our grand- and great-grandchildren would rightly hold us accountable for leaving them a less rich world, and so far man's track record versus "beast" is pretty consistently deleterious.
     
  20. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #20
    I'm certainly not indifferent to their plight, and nor, I suspect, are those who have camped out in the frozen Arctic wastes in the hope of seeing one. However, I do think they have a perfect right to defend themselves in the rare event that they are attacked, despite all precautions.
     
  21. Lord Blackadder, Aug 8, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011

    Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #21
    Yes, the bear had to be killed at that point. Non-lethal deterrents are often less effective in the case of a predatory attack (such as this appears to be), and the presence of an aggressive, probably agitated bear that had already mortally wounded one and seriously injured several more posed an immediate risk to the lives of the remaining members of the group. At that point, firearms become the only reasonable alternative. Additionally,the standard operating procedure by the National Park Service, BLM, Forest Service, and every other bureau I know of that manages wildlife in any capacity is to kill bears that have attacked humans, with few exceptions. Once a bear has attacked a human, the bear may either associate humans with food or consider them to be food, in which case futher attacks are likely.

    Indeed.

    The number of polar bears killed in incidents such as these is negligible compared with historic threats from sport hunting and current threats from climate change. Sport hunting has been increasingly controlled in the last several decades, so if you are truly concerned you need to worry more about how much gas you burn in your car than the handful that are shot in self defense every year. And I'm only half-kidding.

    Natives hunt polar bears and kill significantly more than are shot in self defense. But such hunting is generally sustainable and anyway there is some scientific oversight in the form of population counting.
     
  22. tigres macrumors 68040

    tigres

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    #22
    As unfortunate as the story is, it's been happening for centuries. Man vs. beast.
     
  23. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    #23
    Yes ... Polar Bears are at the very top of the food chain ... however humans have every right to fight for survival, and that includes shooting an attacking Polar Bear. :rolleyes:
     
  24. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #24
    I lived in Anchorage for a year and that summer a bear found its way downtown. Rangers had hoped to tranquilize it and move it but there were a lot of people in the area and the bear started to get upset. They had no choice but to kill it.

    Now we can go all Henry Thoreau and agonize over whether we should kill insects or we can accept that human/wild critter contact is inevitable. It's tragic because it often ends poorly for the animal. Cars probably kill more wildlife in North America than guns do and that's sad.

    What's your solution? Banning people from wildlife refuges?
     
  25. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #25
    Just this spring a moose found its way downtown in Anchorage and a woman tried to pet it (!), with predictable but fortunately not tragic results. I happened to walk by shortly after the incident, not knowing what happened. The moose was laying down in the park, probably a little bewildered and agitated. Many people were simply too ignorant or foolhardy to keep a proper distance. Incidentally, the victim was not a tourist; she was in fact a native woman.

    It's interesting to note that in this case the moose was not put down; if killing can be avoided it usually is. It eventually made its way to a quieter locale to bed down. The difference here, of course, is that moose do not compete with humans for food, nor do moose ever see humans as food.
     

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