When I was a kid there were these VHS videos you could order like “Marty Stouffer’s Wild America: Dangerous Encounters.” Later the Fox Network would go on to produces shows like “When Animals Attack.” The latter were essentially snuff films couched as nature documentaries. The viewer would be treated to grainy security camera footage of a man being kicked in the face by a moose or a lion attacking a safari truck, as a breathless narrator gave you a play-by-play of the mayhem. Maybe for how tactless those films were, they might have had a positive effect. For it seems now that people are forgetting that wild animals can be dangerous.
As the first day of summer rapidly approaches, we have seen a growing number of highly publicized human/animal interactions. First, there were the bison calf welfare “experts,” who separated at a young calf from its herd and were shocked when the herd then abandoned it. Then a woman decided that she needed “sneak up” on an elk for a better photograph only to be chased away. Fortunately for her, the elk just wanted her to leave (I presume because I am not an expert on animal behavior).
I do not know why so many people keep having lapses in judgment when it comes to wild animals. Animal attacks are rare, but when they do happen they do tend to be high profile. People need to remember, that while many species have self-domesticated that live in urban or suburban areas, the animals found in National Parks are kept in a more natural state with limited human interaction. The beauty of our National Parks is they allow us a glimpse of America before expansion, a view of the America that Lewis & Clark saw, a view of the pre-European America. Go out there and experience it but do not disturb these places and animals.
Why do you think people keep messing with the wildlife? Do you have an interesting animal encounter? Please leave your comments and questions below, thank you.