There is not a doubt that our claim to being the 'highest life form' comes from the power of discrimination. We, humans, are able to effectively communicate and act from a more analytic prospective. This enables us to behave differently when faced with different circumstances and situations. However, animals do not have the gift of this analytical approach. They have the same behavioral pattern when confronting fear or the need for defense, or even hunger for that matter... attack! Sad, but true, even as we list the number of humans attacked by animals, we do not spare a thought to our encroaching their habitats, taking our inquisitiveness a bit too near for their comfort, or even stalking them for game.
The number of shark attacks have increased in recent years. The victims and authorities have listed both 'fatal and unprovoked' and 'fatal and provoked' shark attacks. Fatal aggression that results from provocation are mainly due to shooting the shark with a speargun or netting it. A woman was reported mauled by a shark while swimming with a friend, both on boogie boards. This incident occurred about 200 yards off a beach, and if witnesses are to be believed, the shark was between 6 and 8 feet in length. Though the death was officially categorized as a 'case of drowning' by the medical examiner, it was spotlighted by the media as a fatal shark attack.
Another shark attack was just behind the victim's home; a dock that he used daily. The vigorous splashing about seemed to have attracted the attention of a shark, estimated to be approximately 9 feet long. The victim died from blood loss and organ damage. The probability of the shark venturing in the wrong direction or the vigorous splashing reaching out as a sign of a probable meal cannot be ruled out. Looking at the incident with a neutral outlook, it cannot be blamed on a 'beastly' 'brutal' and 'monstrous' shark entirely. It is important to barricade such enclosures prior to regular use, especially since we are the ones who have the 'higher sense'. The waters are their habitat and our possessions, and hence, a bifurcation of territory is essential.
A man escaping custody jumped into a retention pond and met his death in the form of a 9-foot alligator. His blind date with death was a 'step into my parlor' kind of situation. The pangs of hunger and the sight of a desperate human made the alligator a 'meal'. It is not possible that the authorities did not know about the presence of the alligator in the pond. The man's attempt to escape got the alligator into the media spotlight. When the body of an elderly woman was sighted floating in a lagoon behind her daughter's house, it took no time to conclusively establish that she had been attacked by an 8-foot alligator. The woman must have gone a little too close to the water's edge and slipped in.
A snorkeling enthusiast's death at Lake George was blamed on an alligator attack, when her body was pulled out of the alligator's mouth. Imagine the effect of media coverage that warned those interested in the underwater adventure sport about the 'lurking monster'. Autopsy results later confirmed that she had actually drowned and the multiple injuries and lacerations on her head and upper torso were due to her struggle for survival from a watery grave. The human error―the capture and killing of a 11-foot, 407-pound alligator. A loss irreplaceable! The human counterattack and assumptions are almost always impulsive and deduced on the first or second pronounced probability. We question human deaths for years―who is going to take responsibility for the animal kingdom?
The recorded deaths 'by bears' have also gone up in number. Most of these attack records are not well documented because of the occurrence in isolated regions. Does this tell us something? A woman was reported missing while mountain biking at Panorama Mountain Resort, and was found 'killed by a black bear'. The bear was shot on sight. Human presence without appropriate security and the presence of easy meals, lure these animals closer to humans. The instinct is to wander and feed, and any claim to their land is bound to bring on the 'killer instinct'.