An Australian tourist may have gotten in the way of a black bear recently, as crowds of people gathered around to take pictures of the animal rummaging through garbage. The Australian was not hospitalized and his injuries were said to be minor.

The bear it seems had been hanging around for awhile dumpster diving and what not and had become a tourist attraction to those seeking to see a bear. One report said the bear decided it was time to leave the scene and the Australian man was in his path.

In the end, authorities shot and killed the bear and some of the locals are very much up in arms, with one responding to a local newspaper article saying, “These idiots were surrounding a wild animal to take bloody pictures and they got what they deserved – the bear fought back.” Yet, another claimed, “Well this ‘tourist’ managed to get a death sentence pronounced on this bear”.

The odds were heavily stacked against the bear to make it out alive once he became a regular customer of the local garbage cans, unfortunately. There is also no arguing that people don’t act too intelligently when they gather around wild animals in order to get pictures.

The difficulty in taking seriously the reactions of many people is their seeming higher respect and desire for protection of an animal over the well being of a human. It reminds me of a television news report I heard a few years back while vacationing in Florida.

It was a late night incident. A reporter was standing on one of the big bridges that span portions of Tampa Bay. An SUV traveling along the bridge hit one of the cement walls protecting drivers and automobiles from going into the water. The story was a sob story of a dog that got catapulted from the vehicle and landed in the water.

The reporter, a woman, was nearly in tears as she shared the story of this brave dog, being hurled through the air and landing somewhere in the cold waters of Tampa Bay in the darkness of night. Rescuers jumped into the water, while helicopters hovered overhead, shining large, bright search lights to aid the rescuers. Eventually the dog was located and it was determined to be alright.

The reporter then began to sign off from the accident scene, when the news anchor back in the studio asked the condition of the driver, “The driver’s dead body was recovered from the water shortly after rescuers arrived on the scene.”

Tom Remington