This week has been an extraordinary news week for Man versus Wild incidents and tragedies. Saturday we learned of the terribly sad news that the endangered western lowland gorialla Harambe had been shot dead at Cincinnati Zoo. This came after zoo officials decided it was the safest way to retrieve a three year old boy who had somehow fallen into the gorilla’s enclosure. Whilst the zoo came under great criticism for its actions – why didn’t you sedate it? – I can absolutely see the predicament they were in and the risk of antagonising such a powerful beast by a botched shot of a tranquiliser dart and the ensuing risk of harm to the little boy was just too great. The parents too – what were they thinking and how on earth did they allow it to happen?
On Sunday, unthinkable news of a 46 year old NSW woman taken by a crocodile while holidaying in Far North Queensland. She was in relatively shallow water and had been wet for a matter or seconds before being dragged away by the croc. What makes this even more tragic, it has emerged that the woman was on holiday with her childhood friend, together marking the friends recovery after cancer treatment. It’s just terribly sad for all involved. Since the attack, there have been calls by some to start culling and hunting in a way to reduce crocodile numbers, therefore making the waters safer for locals and tourists alike. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no croc expert and am not Australian born and bred but I knew long before I moved to this beautiful country that crocodiles inhabit some areas just as they do in areas of Florida. There are also enough signs warning you that you are in croc territory and attack could result in injury or even death. You just wouldn’t do it would you? Well I wouldn’t.
Just yesterday a 29 year old Perth man had his leg bitten off in a shark attack south of Perth. As you would expect, he is in a critical condition. There have been calls for shark culling too although to much outrcy. If you are going to venture into the sharks back yard, you have to expect that there is a possibility that you may be attacked by one. I’ll stick to using a swimming pool thanks. I know you can’t surf in a swimming pool (I hear you cry). I know the surfing community have much respect for these magnificent creatures and accept that this type of accident is a possibilty. They are gamble with their lives everytime they head out to sea to catch waves.
So we have learned of Mans fight with the wild and it is evident who has the upper hand. But let me bring to your attention the other news we hear of – in fact every day – fatalities on our roads. A fifteen year old girl is fighting for her life and will have to live with the fact that she is possibly responsible for her friend’s death. The ute she was driving crashed into a pole. She was unlicenced and the vehicle was unregistered. Our reaction to yet another death on our roads is a deep sigh, a gentle shake of the head and we get on with our day and thank our lucky stars it wasn’t someone we know.
Our reaction is to kill; kill the gorilla, kill crocodiles and kill sharks but no one bats an eyelid when it comes to the human killing on our roads. It’s been a funny old news week.