Posted by: fireweaver | April 13, 2008

and in other obvious announcements, gravity works

Vi sent me a story in my email today that i would have *sworn* was from the onion, and therefore kidding, and therefore not real. oh, but no. a link to the actual tale from bbc news, which last time i checked does NOT publish faux news, tells us that people are actually disturbed about a polar bear consuming fish. go ahead and read it, wherein you can find some true headdeskers such as (i can’t even make this up):

“Knut senselessly murdered the carp.”

wow. in our modern world, we have such a huge disconnect from the natural order of things, don’t we? so many people think their steaks were always in saran wrap at the grocery store; never a living, bleeding part of a warm live animal.  in this particular case, maybe it’s all the wintertime coke commercials that have cuddly little fuzzy white bears partaking in the heartfelt holiday parties the penguins are throwing that’s made everyone mentally gloss over how things actually work. newsflash to the lay public: this creature evolved as the apex predator for it’s ecological niche. yes, they are indeed beautiful and majestic and wonderful. but also, their standard hunting method involves ambushing seals at their breathing holes, fishing them out with the hooked claws of their forepaws, and crushing the skull with their big-ass predator jaws. you know, exactly like this guy did with the fish he ambushed out of the moat.

if people want to complain about the zoo having placed live fish in part of his enclosure, i can somewhat sympathize with that, though in my line of work we’re trained to lesser-evil-style rank everything by phylogenetic scale.  e.g., while i’d have a huge problem with providing the lions a staked-out goat on which to practice hunting skills, i’m actually ok with providing all the bears the occasional live fish on which to practice theirs.  the part i’m dumbfounded over, however, are the reactions like those quoted above, like it’s somehow a shocking moral failing on the part of this carnivore to have killed and eaten a creature downstream in the food chain.  blame the zoo if you want to, but not the poor bear.  still wonderful, just not so cuddly.

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Responses

  1. I’m with you on the WTF? Did they not learn the food chain in school? Polar bears are not cute and cuddly, no matter what Disney says. I thought that was kind of a “duh”.

  2. No one, and I mean *no* one will ever “eat” again. When I go out, I’m always, always and forever going to ask people what they would like to “senselessly murder” (“So Bob, are you going to senselessly murder that prime rib or are you going for a lower taxonomic senseless murder of blackened snapper?”)

    And WTF on that one? Ok, you want to call him “murdering” a fish, fine (ok, not fine, but since he intended to kill the fish, in his leetle bear brain, I’ll give it).. but Senselessy? Last I checked survival =/= senseless. But what would I know, I’m just a fracking degreed zoologist.

  3. Poor bear was probably just thinking, “finally, they served me up a fresh meal!” And now the buffet’s over.


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