View Full Version : New York Bear attack

08-20-2002, 05:50 PM
   I just saw this story from yesterday. Tragically, a black bear killed an infant yesterday in New York. The bear took the child from its stroller.

   Here is the story as told by USA TODAY originally from the AP (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2002-08-20-bear-attack_x.htm).


08-20-2002, 06:03 PM
I saw this on the Today show this morning........it worries me. I hope that people won't become overly zealous and start shooting Black Bears for no reason. This was a tragic, tragic situation, and a very unusual one. :( I'm so sorry for that child's family.

08-20-2002, 07:03 PM
Yes, the bear is, of course, the bad guy in this. Bears don't attack unless provoked in some way. My question is...why did the mother take the other 2 kids in the house and leave the baby outside?? I'm also afraid that people are going to start shooting bears just because they're there. It's truly tragic.

08-21-2002, 08:49 AM
my heart goes out to the family - it must be so traumatic losing a baby in these circumstances.

hopefully because the bear was shot - the rest of the population wont be running around with rifles trying to shoot any bear they see.


Former User
08-21-2002, 10:50 AM
I saw this in the news too, and I feel so sorry for the family too. But I also feel sorry because the bear had to be killed... Funny how fast people act when it's an animal doing this. Had it been a human being who did this, there would have been billion trials first... (sorry, I feel so frustrated because 2 10 year old girls were killed in UK and the killer isn't fit enough to stand trial yet, :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: ).

08-21-2002, 01:26 PM
I must agree to Niina !! Why are kids-killers treated so gently by offering them a de-luxe-cell and an endless trial which costs so much to the community ? And why are animal who do a similar thing being shot immediately ??? I know , people say "it's only an animal" ... . This sentence makes me so furious !!:mad: :mad: :mad:

08-21-2002, 04:07 PM
That is so terrible, I couldn't imagine how that parent(s) must eb feeling right now.

08-21-2002, 04:48 PM
I find it really offensive that people on this board are willing to accuse and shame a mother who has just lost a child in a horrific way. No one knows the exact details of what happened that day, and so no one is fit to tell a pair of grieving parents that they should have known better. What will that achieve? That's the same mentality people use on rape victims and it's shameful.

We are human beings, and while we benefit from treating animals kindly, our first allegiance is to the human race. It is ridiculous to demand that if a bear is shot for attacking people that human beings should be killed on site with no trial or basic humane accomodation for similar crimes. Where are your priorities?!!

08-21-2002, 07:47 PM
I'd like to see you say those things to that mother's face. "Gee...I'm sorry for your loss and all. Even though I wasn't there and didn't witness this undoubtedly confusing and terrifying event, in the end it's still your fault and you should take responsibility for your actions." How very nice of you. You can claim to be on the side of the child, but all you're doing is judging a person based on a very sparse AP article. The magnititude of your judgments would require more involvement than that. I doubt her other "helpless" children would like to know that members of the public are villainising their mother. Also, why would you respond to me without reading the article first? Talk about an informed opinion. While I was mainly referring to your post, I was also noting that there are many people on this forum who believe in wild west vigilante justice, that post was not only for you.

08-21-2002, 08:05 PM
I'm just wondering where in the article does it state that this woman left her baby sleeping in a stroller located in the middle of the woods. I just reread it a couple of times and couldn't find that part. The truth is, we don't really know the details. They were at a campground, not in the middle of a deserted forest. Seeing as she had two other young children to look after, I think it's fair to say that most people have spent more than a split second away from their baby. THese things usually happen so fast, and no one can really be held accountable.

08-21-2002, 08:57 PM
From the news report that I heard, someone yelled "Bear!" and she grabbed the 2 older kids and took them to the cabin and left the baby outside and when she came back the bear had taken the baby.

It's my opinion that the bear should not have been destroyed, but relocated, but of course, react first and think later is always the way it works. Unfortunately, people are going to run scared now and if a bear moves wrong then it's a maneater and will be killed. Sugarbear, I don't know how it works in New Zealand, but that is how it works in the States. And as for the parents, I feel sorry for them, but I don't feel that there is a villian in all of this...just a tragic accident that cost two innocent lives.

I do not feel any compulsion to put the human race first, but again, that is my opinion and that's all. It's neither right nor wrong, just an opinion.

08-21-2002, 09:20 PM
There are no bears or predators on New Zealand soil, so that's not an issue that concerns us. At any rate, my only issue with this thread was that someone was viciously judging someone about a situation that they knew next to nothing about. That was my main beef. I don't really care what happens to the bear. I think either course of action would be fair and I can see the reasons for both sides, my comment about vigilante justice was in reference to the hypocrisy I see about the way people here want to treat humans vs. the way they treat animals. My question to you is, if you don't differentiate between humans and people, why? How can that be? I imagine you eat animals (as do I), and that is a pretty big differentiation right there.

P.S. My name is Sugargirl on here, but perhaps all the bear talk just had you slightly confused. :)

08-21-2002, 09:31 PM
OOPS!!! I'm sorry, I'm still getting in the swing of things at school and my brain is fried. I teach 6 straight classes and it's taking some getting used to.

As for differentiation, I feel that every living thing on earth deserves equal treatment. Yes, I do eat meat, and I struggle with that conflict A LOT. I have considered converting to vegetarian, but with a husband who likes his meat and potatoes, it makes it difficult. I just think that most humans have this high and mighty, holier than thou opinions of themselves, making humans better and more worthy of life than anything else, and I just have a problem with that. I know that makes me hypocritical since I eat meat, but, I guess that hypocracy is something I'll have to live with. My feelings are that animals were getting along just fine in this world before the humans appeared and when humans showed up, it started the downfall of the environment and everything else because humans think/thought they could play God.

Oh, well, I'm off my soapbox, yet again. I'm sorry if I offended anyone with my views, but, alas, that's all they are...my views...no more or no less important than anyone else's.

08-21-2002, 09:39 PM
We probably agree on more than we disagree with. Don't get me wrong, I fully believe in animal welfare. I don't believe in animal rights groups, people like PETA, who put animals above people. They are dangerous. That's a fact, not an opinion. Any group of people who are willing to unleash sick and infected animals onto the public as well as other animals, is completely ineffectual. My point was that no matter how much we care and love for animals, we definitely differentiate between animals and humans. Especially if we eat meat, wear leather, etc. That doesn't mean that we can't do the utmost to protect them and see that they're treated humanely. It just means that things need to be contextualised, and ultimately human rights are above animal rights. My problem was that people were saying "if they shoot a bear for killing, why don't we just shoot criminals". That's just poor logic to me. We are not equals. But that does not mean we should not protect animals, just that we need to be able to look at all the world humanely.

08-21-2002, 10:06 PM
Fair enough. I guess, we'll just have to agree to disagree on some points, which is no problem. I agree that PETA does some pretty off the wall stuff to get their point across, but, I do believe that their hearts are in the right place. Some of the things they do are great, but you're right, they can definitely cross the line.

To put it succinctly, if my dogs were in a burning building and the only way to get them out was for me to go in and probably die, I would go in to save them...and I wouldn't think twice. I just believe that they are more helpless than I am, so I will do everything I can to look out for their well being.

08-21-2002, 10:12 PM

Hey Paul, aren't you glad you posted this thread topic?:D
Just kidding.:)

This incident with the bear and the child is tragic, for the
human family that lost a child and also sad that so called
wild bears would associate a campsite of humans in the
animal's habitat as a food source.

"We are human beings, and while we benefit from treating animals kindly, our first allegiance is to the human race. It is ridiculous to demand that if a bear is shot for attacking people that human beings should be killed on site with no trial or basic humane accomodation for similar crimes. Where are your priorities?!! "

SugarGirl, have you ever read any articles by Andrew Vachss?
He is an American lawyer & child advocate in abuse cases and
also a lover of animals. Please read "Our Endangered Species"
and let me know how you feel about his observations on just
how "Humane" our species really is.
Oh btw, welcome to Pet Talk. It is a treat to discuss opinions
with a person who can state their case in a civil & rational

The link to the article is here;

08-21-2002, 11:45 PM
Thanks for the article. I love it when people give me new things to think about and explore.

When I saw the name Andrew Vachs, it sounded familiar. After reading the article, I'm still wondering where I've read his stuff before. It'll come to me eventually.

Let me say this, I am hesitant to subscribe to Mr. Vachs line of reasoning. There are some definite incongruencies there. First off, the animal kingdom is far less morally inclined than we are. Any animal behaviourist will tell you that rape, incest, murder (including infanticide) and general violence are far from unheard of in the animal kingdom. Yes, there are systems of behaviour in place for different species, but let's be realistic. I think it's very easy to idealise animals. Especially when we are so far removed from nature these days. It's easy to forget how harsh it can be. My second issue with his argument is that only recently have we as a society begun to report incidents of abuse, etc. We have no idea how many cases of incest occured in the America of 1768, and we never will. It's hard for me to believe that these are recent phenomenons.

I guess how you deal with abuse all comes down to what you really want in the end. I see the "eye for an eye" approach to be something of the stone age. Sure, it feels good to have immediate retribution but will it solve anything in the long-term? Undoubtedly people deserve to be punished, but at what point will a society ask "why do we have all of these problems in the first place?" Could it be our values? Could it be the depression and hopelessness of unemployment? My opinion is that until you remedy the larger causes of crime, you will only continue to create more monsters, regardless of how many offenders are locked up.

On the issue of humanity, I believe that while we are members of the animal kingdom, we are separate and capable of much more. I don't believe that nature (without civilisation) is necessarily horrible, but there is a general amoralness about it that hinges upon survival. Therefore, I see civilisation as something to aspire to as it transcends mere survival and works to better the lives of everyone in as equal of a manner as possible. Being "humane" is not an impossibility to me, I continue to believe that most people aspire to living in communities and societies that are reasoned and humane. Otherwise, we might as well not have bothered in the first place.


I see your point about your pets in the fire, but I think that's a separate issue as it only involves you and your pets. This seems like more of an issue of proximity. Would you die for a racoon stuck in a burning house? Probably not...

08-22-2002, 01:11 AM
Thanks for the considered reply.

My question to you, specifically, was where in the article did it state that she left the baby alone in the middle of the woods? By making that statement, you made an assumption and implied that you held the mother responsible. That, to me, seems wrong, misinformed and quite unfair. But don't mistake me, your opinion (or anyone else's) does not offend me. What offends me are judgments made on other people, which are somewhat different from simple opinions. I was genuinely curious as to how you made the leap about the baby being in the middle of the woods completely alone.

Can I ask this (of everyone) why is no one talking about the father? Is he not as responsible for the welfare of his children?

As for all of the crime/justice issues, I was not referring to this case directly. What I was trying to do was raise a larger question about the topic. The term "wild west vigilante justice" was not in reference to this case.

08-22-2002, 01:24 AM
I think I can distinguish when someone is voicing their opinion or not, and you do not need to preface everything you say by telling me that it is your opinion and that I do not have to agree with it. I'm well aware of that. Now, I don't care if people want to write their opinions in the sky, but dear, let it be known that when you show me yours, I will show you mine. That's the problem with opinions, you can't air yours with the expectation that it will not be confronted.

Your callous attitude offends me. That's my problem, but I have no problem stating that. Sorry if you can't handle refutation. I think you can take your own words of advice (they're my opinions, don't care if you're offended, blah, blah, blah).

This could have been constructive. You could have been reasonable and shown me a good reason why you like to make judgments on people/situations you have no first-hand knowledge about. But you didn't. You just lost your cool and got out of control. Furthermore, you didn't even try to see my point of view.

Just be careful, ToughCookie, life gives back what you put out. That same judgment could befall you one day, and I hope you have someone like me defending you when it comes.

Aspen and Misty
08-22-2002, 01:41 AM
Edited by myself to pull out the things I needed to....

Originally posted by SugarGirl
people like PETA, who put animals above people. we definitely differentiate between animals and humans.
It just means that things need to be contextualised, and ultimately human rights are above animal rights.
We are not equals.

Last time I heard anyone say that was the debate between the dead chipmunk in the goats water. Should the bowl be sanatized or not? Well the owner of the place said no they are animals why do they need clean water? So we asked him were people why should we have clean water? Yea he shut up. Well my point is, if there was a chipmunk in your animals water, Sugargirl, would you clean it out, or just say o they are animals they don't need clean water? Cuase I know for a fact that I would clean the water dishes everyday, dead chipmunk or not.


08-22-2002, 01:53 AM
I honestly have no idea what you're talking about.
I'll just take a guess, though. I'm guessing that you think I don't think animals should have a right to basic needs. This would be wrong. I suggest you go back and read what I said. I'm not against ANIMAL WELFARE. I'm against people saying that animals' rights supercede my own and then unleash sick and infected lab animals upon the public. I think we're talking apples and oranges here.

08-22-2002, 02:06 AM
"Im not going to get into any more of a moral or any other kind of debate"

The reason why you did continue with this "kind of debate" by replying to my post is because you can't stand the thought of me disagreeing with you. Now that that's out of the way...

I do not know more than anyone else about the bear incident, which is why I'm making no judgments about it and why I feel no one else is qualified to.

P.S. A democracy is a state in which dissent/debate is not only tolerated, but the essence of its existence. A dictatorship is the absence of debate. Just thought you should know...

08-22-2002, 02:54 AM
You can call me self-righteous if you like. It probably makes you feel better to think that. I'd like to think that I'm just refraining from making judgments about people based on incomplete information. You can judge me all you like, you have some solid information into my reactions, thoughts, etc. However, you don't know anything about the placement of the mother in relation to the baby, the character of mother, etc. When you do, feel free. You felt it necessary to comment plenty well before you'd even read the article in the first place. That's just lame.

I'm not an instigator, but when I feel like something is wrong I do speak my mind. Call it what you like. I hope you enjoy your mindless callousness towards strangers!

Former User
08-22-2002, 02:57 AM
Oh come on, stop that already! It's not nice at all:(