Woman Attacks Polar Bear …

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… at Berlin Zoo Friday afternoon after she climbed a fence and jumped into its habitat during feeding time, police said Saturday.

One adult polar bit her several times after she plunged into the moat, police said.

Zoo workers tossed rescue rings toward the woman to hoist her out and distract polar bears swimming nearby, said Goerg Gebhard, a Berlin police officer.

Here are the gruesome stills and film:

Another Video, with more commentary:

Why are people always jumping into Polar Bear enclosures?

It’s unclear why the woman entered the bear habitat, but police issued her a citation for trespassing.


An earlier attack:

This one is the worst of all. It’s not a polar bear, but rather, a felid. Do not watch this if you don’t have a strong stomach. It is so amazing I can’t put it on my blog. You have to go to the link.

And then, of course, there is this (I’ve been looking for an excuse to show this one):

But wait, maybe it would not always work out this way:

But what about a gorilla vs. a bear!?!?!?

Or is that bigfoot?

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In Search of Sungudogo by Greg Laden, now in Kindle or Paperback
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7 thoughts on “Woman Attacks Polar Bear …

  1. Berlin zoo is (still?) the home of Knut, a polar bear who was hand reared after his mother rejected him. Knut was a major sensation in German news at the time. Unfortunately all that media coverage portrayed polar bears as cute and cuddly buddies. It’s not surprising then that something like this would happen there specifically.

    People living in the developed world are so isolated from nature these days that most have no idea we’re not the top of the food chain.

  2. This doesn’t surprise me in the least. I don’t think this happened because of Knut, this type of thing happens all over the place… like the jerks in San Fran sitting on the edge of the tiger enclosure teasing the tigers.

    It’s not because they think the animals are cuddly, it’s because they think they’re somehow superior.

    …and probably because of some hard drinking.

  3. Wanting to get close to the cute, huggable bears is possible. Unfortunately the whole ‘one with nature’ thing often overlooks the red-tooth-and-claw thing.

    On the other side this may have been an attempted suicide. Getting lunched by a polar bear would be a good passive-aggressive way of getting notice and attempting to obscure both shame and blame.

    Death by cop is a similar form but it seldom gets much notice and getting munched by a polar bear does have a novel ‘surrender to nature’ aspect that might attract a certain sort of person.

    It is interesting to note that she does seem rather enthusiastic about getting back out. Had she not thrashed around so much she might not have been nipped as often. The bears certainly don’t seem to be actively treating her like a highly desired food. More like a new and interesting toy. If they wanted her dead she would be dead.

  4. I don’t think this happened because of Knut, this type of thing happens all over the place… like the jerks in San Fran sitting on the edge of the tiger enclosure teasing the tigers.

    Yeah, those guys weren’t very bright. That being said, I was surprised to hear something along the lines of “Well, they were teasing the tiger, so it got upset and got out,” from the zoo’s PR people.

    Zoo executive to engineer: “So this design will keep the tigers in the enclosure, right?”
    Engineer: “Yes. Unless the tiger is very upset and really wants to get out, of course.”
    Executive: “Errr… Could we design it so that only calm tigers who aren’t out for blood can escape?”

    And what was with the calls for the tiger to be destroyed after the attack? It’s a TIGER. What do you expect it to do? I’d be more inclined to destroy a defective tiger for not attacking people…

  5. The update I read this morning (pacific time morning) said she had been depressed about being unemployed. She is (make that was) a teacher and has a daughter. I don’t think she has improved her employment chances.

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