Why are we so fascinated with "Death by Grizzly" ??

12:11 p.m. on August 1, 2011 (EDT)
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In view of recent, tragic events that have occurred in our wilderness ("backcountry") areas / State and National Parks ... and which have made headlines, here in North America ... and around the world; why is is there is such a fascination about these events?

Is "Death by Grizzly" any more horrible than "Death by Puma / Cougar" ... or,  "Death by Shark" ... or, "Death by Insect" ... or, "Death by Snake"  ... or, "Death by Waterfall" ... or, "Death by Goat" ?

Our posts here generate FAR MORE opinions and attitudes, when the subject is Grizzly Bears.   Poll them (the number of posts) yourself.     A fair amount of advice is offered.   

I suppose I am responsible for comments ... although, I NEVER take the position of being omniscient regarding these members of the animal kingdom.     I just relate my "close encounters" ( none-of-which occurred with Grizzly Bears).    And, being blessed to never have been a victim, or statistic.

Why ???   Please tell me where I am wrong in my assessment.

                                                        

                                                   ~r2~

12:29 p.m. on August 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Two thoughts:

Can we or should we really try and substantiate the blood-lust and sensationalization of media?  It's bound to digress into why "Rock of Love" was even on the air. 

More seriously, I think the size and overwhelming power of bears really grasp our imaginations and fears.  We are so used to being "in control" of our environments that having another autonomous creature capable of disrupting them so drastically is fascinating. 

Other forms of "death by" don't carry quite the imposing force or presence that a Grizzly carries.

On the other hand, a moose scares me more than a bear. :)

3:22 p.m. on August 1, 2011 (EDT)
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I think that is a very sound answer and I agree, to a point. I do not understand why you would be more frightened of a Moose than a Grizzly, as the latter are FAR more dangerous to humans.

But, each to his own and the best way to deal with this is readily available to all, if, they really want to learn to protect themselves from these bears while hiking in areas where they still reside.

I wonder how many humans have been attacked and killed by Moose in the 20thC. and how many by Grizzlies?

3:44 p.m. on August 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Dewey ~~ (Anyone ?)

You might be the one to answer this --  What specie of bear is it that is known as the "Russian Bear"?   I do not think they are anywhere as large as the Grizzly.

Although, I am seeing an "Animal Planet" video of a Russian Bear and a Russian wolf.   The narrative says the bear can weigh up to 1300 lbs.   Visually, the bear does have the distinctive shoulder hump.   Coat is darker.

Are they related to the Kodiak sub-species?    Of which I suspect was once geographically linked and accessible to Russia via the land-masses and islands'  proximity across the Bering Sea?

Anyone with information?

                                                  ~r2~

7:11 p.m. on August 1, 2011 (EDT)
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ALL of these bears are the same and the Kamchatka Grizzlies are merely another regional "race" of Grizzlies. The current scientific opinion is that they did evolve from the giant largely fish-eating Grizz. of extreme NW BC and SE AK.

I have spent some time living in the mountains there, alone, for three month stretches and this was before the "Stewart-Cassiar Highway" was built, when that area was REALLY wild and untouched. I can say that these bears are HUGE and yet seem far less aggressive than the mountain Grizzlies, in my home region of the Kootenays, which are much smaller.

 

7:13 p.m. on August 1, 2011 (EDT)
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R2- Its related to the Gummy Bears.

See vid:

http://youtu.be/astISOttCQ0

.....I just had to. Did you expect anything less?

In all seriousness though, for me personally its not necessarily the actual attack that grasps my curiousity, its what lead up to it. The surroundings, the location, etc...

I am also interested in what happens after the attack. What one did to survive, etc...

I have no actual interest in the attack itself. Lets face it, they claw, maul, and chew... I have yet to hear of a grizz crack someone in the kisser with an Easton ball bat or pull a drive bye... So until then its all the same to me.

 

12:21 a.m. on August 2, 2011 (EDT)
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... and yet another one today ...

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/43969162/

 

 

2:07 a.m. on August 2, 2011 (EDT)
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bheiser1 said:

... and yet another one today ...

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/43969162/

 

 

 Compared to what could've happened I think she did quite well....

10:56 a.m. on August 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Go to Alaska if you want to see a big Grizzly, huge somepared to Yellowstone or Glaciers Grizzly's. Kodiak's are some of the largest, living on an island of the same name southwest of Anchorage.


large_brown_bear_kodiak.jpg


Kukak-brown-bear-.jpg

Bears and man are more likely to encounter each other in the wild than almost any other carnivore.


kodiak-bear.jpg

Kodiak Bears above


Yellowstone-Grizzly-Bear.jpg

Yellowstone grizzly sow


yellowstone-grizzly-bear-attack-fatality

How about this for the last thing you would see be fore being attacked by a Grizzly?




11:25 a.m. on August 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Minor point here, Grizzlies are not classed as "carnivores" and the giant coastal strains in BC and AK, which with some of those from Kamchatka, are the largest specimens left on the planet obtain most of their food from plant sources. Grizzlies, as with MOST bears, are properly classed as "omnivores" just as humans are.

The notable exception to this is the largest bears on Earth, "Ursus Maritimus" or Polar Bears, which are found circumpolar, but, most seem to be in the Canadian Arctic, are carnivorous in the wild, but, may eat some vegetable matter in certain situations.These bears will weigh up to a ton while Grizzlies go to about 1600 lbs. max and most are about half that weight, these are mature males.

6:27 a.m. on August 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Dewey said:

 ... the largest bears on Earth, "Ursus Maritimus" or Polar Bears, which are found circumpolar, but, most seem to be in the Canadian Arctic, are carnivorous in the wild, but, may eat some vegetable matter in certain situations.These bears will weigh up to a ton while Grizzlies go to about 1600 lbs. max and most are about half that weight, these are mature males.

 

As evidenced by what occurred a few days ago in Norway.

I don't know all the facts / details; but, I have a feeling carelessness may have been a factor in this event.   Food scent, no trip-wire,  no sentry,  etc. ?

Someone in that party DID have a weapon, and killed the polar bear.  NOT before the carnage ensued, however.

                                                   ~r2~

1:53 p.m. on August 6, 2011 (EDT)
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I, for one, welcome our new ursine overlords.

3:43 p.m. on August 6, 2011 (EDT)
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A 50-yr old hiker was mauled  by a Grizzly today, in West Glacier, Montana.

He had bear-repellent spray, but did not have a chance to use it.   He survived.

No further details at this time.

                                                        ~r2~

6:28 p.m. on August 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert Rowe said:

..Why ???   Please tell me where I am wrong in my assessment.

IMO you could be considered the poster child of your own lament.

You should be able to answer why “we” are so fascinated by bear attacks.  I started a poll, but quickly noticedl you are the OP for every bear attack posting on this forum (except one) for more than a month now.  In this context asking this question is like punching someone, then asking why do we fight.

Ed

7:41 p.m. on August 6, 2011 (EDT)
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whomeworry said:

Robert Rowe said:

..Why ???   Please tell me where I am wrong in my assessment.

IMO you could be considered the poster child of your own lament.

You should be able to answer why “we” are so fascinated by bear attacks.  I started a poll, but quickly noticedl you are the OP for every bear attack posting on this forum (except one) for more than a month now.  In this context asking this question is like punching someone, then asking why do we fight.

Ed

 

How 'bout if I become the de facto "poster child" for careful reading?

Will that work for you?

You will notice ( maybe? ), in the title of the post-topic, I used the 1st person plural pronoun, we.   As in, Why are we so fascinated with "Death by Grizzly"?

We so happens to include me (Robert).    Imagine that!

Following the text in the body of the post, I presented the rhetorical question to which you have alluded.

It should be obvious I am in this group of people curious about this "fascination".    Hence; I am presenting the several post-topics focusing on bear attacks.

To elucidate further ... I anticipated post-comments authored by those of the Trailspace forum participants that have sound knowledge of the subject ... such as member "Dewey".

Sooo ... I am admitting I, too, have this curiosity regarding bear attacks.   And, I wish to learn as much as I can.

I have never been attacked by a bear.   Have only one "close encounter" with a couple black bears in the Smoky  Mountains of Tennessee.

Now ... at one time I had a similar curiosity regarding sharks.

I am a life-long surfer, since 1965.   I have been in the water with a pair of Mako's, at about 20 feet distance.    My surfboard ( with me on it ) was 'bumped' by a 10 foot Hammerhead shark.   I was in the water  surfinig nearby, when Capt. Frank Mundus (google him, if not familiar) caught a 3,400 pound Great White shark off Montauk Point (Long Island).

The whole "JAWS" ( book and movie) phenomenon was precipitated and inspired by Capt. Frank ( I built his house, but I did not know him well ) ... and his shark-fishing exploits.  

Naturally, just about every surfer I knew became keenly interested and fascinated  by sharks.   After all, most of us have seen them around us in the water.

Hikers and backpackers probably do not care one whit about sharks.

Me ... on-the-other-hand ... YES -- I do ... still.  Even though I don't live near Montauk any longer, I continue to get the local newspaper.   Got this week's edition this morning.  I am going to Montauk after Labor Day, when the swells are good, and the off-shore breezes are favorable for the wonderful "tubes" formed.

  And now, I am just as keenly interested and fascinated by bears.   I need to know more.   I am anticipating more-and-more hiking and camping activity.   Knowledge is a wonderful thing.

I have a running post-topic I authored on another website ... presenting a different rhetorical question.   Why?   Because I was curious ... just like my curiosity regarding bears.   On THAT post-topic, there have been over 4100 "views" ... and, over 100 "replies", over the course of about 6 months.   There were 3 replies today.

Sooo ... I am "guilty" as (you) charged.

Feel better?

                                                          ~r2~

9:54 p.m. on August 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

R2- Its related to the Gummy Bears.

See vid:

http://youtu.be/astISOttCQ0

.....I just had to. Did you expect anything less?

In all seriousness though, for me personally its not necessarily the actual attack that grasps my curiousity, its what lead up to it. The surroundings, the location, etc...

I am also interested in what happens after the attack. What one did to survive, etc...

I have no actual interest in the attack itself. Lets face it, they claw, maul, and chew... I have yet to hear of a grizz crack someone in the kisser with an Easton ball bat or pull a drive bye... So until then its all the same to me.

 

 I could totally visualize a Grizz with a bat and two Grizz in a low rider, one driving, the other popping caps. :)

11:09 p.m. on August 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert Rowe said:

How 'bout if I become the de facto "poster child" for careful reading?

Will that work for you?

You will notice ( maybe? ), in the title of the post-topic, I used the 1st person plural pronoun, we.   As in, Why are we so fascinated with "Death by Grizzly"?

We so happens to include me (Robert).    Imagine that!...

I will overlook the snark attack.

Perhaps I am wrong, but I thought even a casual reading of my response would lead readers to conclude I thought your use of the "we" pronoun was very liberal, given you are responsible for originating most of the related topic threads lately.  I question the size of this group you allude to.  Therefore I ask why are you so fascinated by this topic?  

Extending my thoughts, I am not sure other's contribution to threads on the bear topic indicate a fascination on their part.  Dewey for example interjects mainly to debunk and elucidate when the rest of us appear to talk out of our hats.  But that doesn't mean he is "fascinated" with attack threads, he seems primarily interested in keeping us children from acting out of ignorance or misinformation.  Much of the other replies are folks using these threads to ask bear related questions such as safety issues.  Again these folks do not seem fascinated with attack articles per se.  If this argument is a bit ambiguous, consider if I were to originate five threads over the last month about the virtues of having relations with minors.  I am sure the peanut gallery would respond en mase, yet it would be a misnomer to state the activity under such threads indicates a general fascination with the topic.  Therefore the question why are folks so fascinated with underage relationships – or bear attacks – is actually is a self perpetuated phenomenon, and a misrepresentation of the basis that motivates others to participate in these threads.  On the other hand I may be grousing over poor selection of wording, and suggest perhaps your intent is better addressed rephrasing your question as: who finds bear attack articles fascinating? 

Big I wildly digress.  To answer your OP, however worded; generally I do not find bear attack articles fascinating.

Ed

12:28 a.m. on August 7, 2011 (EDT)
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Huh ?

6:48 p.m. on August 7, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert Rowe said:

Huh ?

“Let me make this perfectly clear” – Richard Nixion.

I believe the we you refer to appears to be mainly you. You originated most of the recent threads, regarding bear attacks.

IMO other’s participation in these attack threads is mainly to obtain or provide information, not fixate and obsess on the attacks.  (Peanut gallery please feel free to correct me if I am in error.)

Perhaps next time you consider discussing odd fascinations you indulge in, consider asking if we share your preoccupation instead of assuming we do.  JMHO

PS: I am not a crook!

Ed

7:42 p.m. on August 7, 2011 (EDT)
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I find bear behavior in general very interesting, I also find chipmunk behavior fascinating as well.

Big difference though, the chipmunk might eat my corn chips, while the bear might be attracted to my corn chips.... and eat me.

The potential for, and depth to which bear related incidents can go wrong is a large part of my own interest, I can't speak for anyone else with certainty.

Edit: What I mean is I am not fascinated with fatal bear encounters so much as bear behavior in general.

7:53 p.m. on August 7, 2011 (EDT)
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 Hi, Ed ~~

You can always OPT OUT ... can you NOT ?

As I have seen in other website forums ... posters / members have "stalked"  posts.   Not only mine.

Meaning:   They 'lurked' in the anonymity of the website, until I posted something ... and THEN they have some retort.   Trying to catch me in something as innocuous as a grammatical error, or such.  It was very obvious; and I filed a formal complaint through the moderators.   Some of the websites call these posters, "trolls", I believe.  They almost never had anything positive to contribute.

I have called them out on it.   A few were banned from the websites.

Some of these websites have a "Block member's posts" ... or an "IGNORE" icon, targeted for a specific poster.   Or, (here) ... I think all you have to do is 'uncheck' the little box in the lower left of the thread posts.

You might consider that, Ed, if my posts trouble you.

I would never lose sleep ... lose my lunch ... lose my keys ... etc., ... regarding what online posters say.

Have an ordinary day ....

Robert

9:56 p.m. on August 7, 2011 (EDT)
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Insinuation that Ed doesn't contribute much to the forum and is a Troll makes me laugh!

On topic...however...I have a few "thoughts"...

All extraordinary events tend to be of some interest to most everyone. We are drawn to at least observe to determine what is happening or has happened. As children we run to investigate when another kid fell on the playground and broke their arm. It was unusual, frightening, and we want to understand. So it is to some degree as adults- with a car wreck, or a tsunami, or towers falling, or an animal attack. This is not usually a sadistic inclination, though it can be in some individuals. Usually it is driven by a mixture of motivations: curiosity; self preservation, education, compassion, a sense of connectedness and related experience (community),  etc. These are not negative impulses if they are balanced with an understanding of context and appropriate response. Only when there is an inordinate and perpetuated interest in attacks for their sensational aspects is there a problem.

In the context of TrailSpace, almost all of the people commenting on the reports clearly do not appear to fit into the latter category, but are either contributing to or seeking positive learning. Almost all of the conversations center on analysis of the technical and contextual information concerning what led up to the attack, what followed, and beneficial action.  Almost no one focused on the sensational aspect of attack. And commenters on the posts who did, did so in jest.

1:23 a.m. on August 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert Rowe said:

 Hi, Ed ~~

You can always OPT OUT ... can you NOT ?..

..Have an ordinary day ....

Do not get me wrong, I am not complaining about your animal assault posts. If you check who is posting on your attack threads you will notice the absence of contributions on my part.  I do opt out, and have no problem doing so.  This thread is not about attacks, however; it is about who is fascinated with bear attacks, and I choose to opt-in on this topic.       

It was not my intent to lure you into a trap, or pass judgment on what you find interesting. To the extent I “caught” you on a grammatical error, it was an attempt to recast the topical question in a manner that may better describe your inquiry, rather than the act of a forum sniper.  But if you want to second guess my motives, I do suggest checking out the abundance of postings I have on record with Trailspace before jumping to conclusions.  I am typically silly, often outspoken, sometimes controversial, and not shy to debate.  But I keep my judging to the ideas at hand, and avoid judging the integrity and motives of the members of this forum. 

My intent on this thread was merely responding to the question you posit.  I feel the choice of the inclusive we pronoun was presumptuous.  I attempted to disagree with you, stating I don’t think most people are fascinated by bear attacks; a view which has been supported by several responses to this thread.  Lastly the intent of my posts herein was to point out I may be critical of the underlying premise of this thread, but that should not be construed as being critical of you, personally, Mr Rowe.  I may have bats in my belfry, come off as a bore, and even unintentionally offend someone on occasion. But I am not a stalker, and there are no trolls lurking under my bridge.

Ed 

1:37 a.m. on August 8, 2011 (EDT)
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"Why are we so fascinated with "Death by Grizzly" ??"

Well, lets see, this is a backpacking/outdoor kinda site so I would guess that the fact that that one of the largest omnivoreas weighing in at around a ton (polar bears) and or the Grizz weighing in at up to 1600 lbs. makes for a good scary story.  Can you imagine the headlines reading "Party of six attacked by crazed marmot, 4 dead........two injured" more at eleven.  If that happened once it would get lots of notice.  More than once, not so much.   Anyone remember the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  Remember the rabbit.  Gave me pause and and a little more respect for the silly little creatures, though they do taste mighty good in stew.

As humans we seem to have the bloodlust.  We seem to have a desperate need to read of bloody terrifying endings of life.  Sensationalism carries the day.  How many people would read the article that says "10 people die of natural causes due to old age", now that makes for a good headline.

@ Ed & Robert or Robert and Ed,  Thanks much for the english lessons as it's been about 40+/- years since I've been in english class.  If either of you two get the chance, I need help with my adjective pronouns........I've always had trouble with those little buggers ;-}>

3:55 a.m. on August 8, 2011 (EDT)
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apeman said:

..@ Ed & Robert or Robert and Ed,  Thanks much for the english lessons as it's been about 40+/- years since I've been in english class.  If either of you two get the chance, I need help with my adjective pronouns........I've always had trouble with those little buggers ;-}>

Robert,

I think one of the goats upon the precipices has just beaned us with some peanuts.

Ed

9:05 a.m. on August 8, 2011 (EDT)
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whomeworry said:

apeman said:

..@ Ed & Robert or Robert and Ed,  Thanks much for the english lessons as it's been about 40+/- years since I've been in english class.  If either of you two get the chance, I need help with my adjective pronouns........I've always had trouble with those little buggers ;-}>

Robert,

I think one of the goats upon the precipices has just beaned us with some peanuts.

Ed

 Yeah ....

I'm seeing that.   [ * insert face-palm emoticon * ].

I have a "personality flaw".   Some of my friends say I am a  "cross -- between a barracuda and a pit-bull".

On-the-other-hand, I have other friends,  veterans of the war in Vietnam, tell me I am a guy they would want to have in a foxhole with them.

Works both ways, I reckon ...

We're good, Ed.   Peace, 'Bro' ....

                                                   ~r2~

11:56 a.m. on August 11, 2011 (EDT)
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i'm going to be in Jackson Hole, Wyoming next week for some rafting and hiking.  I think I will procure some bear spray before I leave.

my luck, i'll wake up some night to a cloud of pepper gas after my eight year old decides to experiment!

12:12 p.m. on August 11, 2011 (EDT)
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Leadbelly,

I am going to be out ther in a few weeks as well :) Where all are you going to hike?

 After your would you mind letting me know who much snow there appears to be up in elevations over 8k? I will be out there to hike the Crest Trail in a few weeks and am curious to know how much snow is hanging around after last years heavy precipitation. I can throw micro spikes and an ice axe in the bag if needed, but want to leave them If I don't need the wieght.

 

 

1:09 p.m. on August 11, 2011 (EDT)
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leadbelly2550 said:

i'm going to be in Jackson Hole, Wyoming next week for some rafting and hiking.  I think I will procure some bear spray before I leave.

my luck, i'll wake up some night to a cloud of pepper gas after my eight year old decides to experiment!

 

One word of caution here. You should not procure it before you leave unless you are driving. The bear spray is not allowed on the plane, not even in checked luggage.

Plan to pay a premium for the bear spay in Jackson. I think I saw some for sale at the ACE hardware just outside of town which might be a little more reasonable.

1:52 p.m. on August 11, 2011 (EDT)
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Very good point, BigSmoke!

 I literally just spent an hour trying to find out for certain if/where in Moose or Jenny lake I could get bear spay. I finally got ahold of a NPS Ranger who confirmed that it indeed was for sale at both the Jenny lake shop and in Moose, thank God.  I am planning on being at Jenny Lake by 8am on Saturday, and don't fly into Jackson on Friday until 9pm, so I wouldn't have any sureety of getting any before then. Having to drive to Jackson or Teton Villiage Sat. Morning to get some would have delayed getting on the trail by about two hours.

 

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